People are donating new £10 notes featuring Jane Austen to women's charities following a hard-won campaign for a woman to be featured on a banknote for the first time.
Writer Caroline Criado-Perez made the suggestion that people donate the first of their new £10 notes, which went into circulation on Sunday, as a way of marking the success of the campaign she led to feature a woman other than the Queen on the note.
"I just felt like it would be a great way to celebrate the end of the campaign," Criado-Perez told BuzzFeed News.
As a result of her campaigning, when it was announced that a woman would feature on the new £10 note, Criado-Perez received a torrent of abuse on social media, including numerous death threats, which led to two people being charged with sending offensive tweets.
Criado-Perez said it was refreshing to see the campaign end positively, with people donating to charity, following its hostile beginning.
"When the campaign was first run my Twitter feed was full of death threats, and now my Twitter mentions are full of people saying, 'I showed [the note] to my daughter and she’s so excited'," Criado-Perez said.
While she felt it was positive step that a woman was now featured on the £10 note, she believed it was important to make the donations in recognition of the difficulties still faced by many women.
"It was meant to be an empowering moment for women, but women’s refuges are suffering from massive underfunding," Criado-Perez said. "It felt like a good way to show solidarity with women and make it into a really feminist moment."
Criado-Perez urged people to support their local women's charities, which often struggle financially.
"Given that people are going to be getting the note all across England and Wales, I felt like it would be a great way to get money direct to women’s charities who are really struggling at the moment," she said.
Gabby Edlin, who runs London-based charity Bloody Good Period, which provides refugee women with sanitary products, told us she was hugely grateful to Criado-Perez for the donations the charity had received. "She really practises what she preaches!" Edlin said.
"It's a brilliant idea of Caroline's, and she's been a donor of ours before," Edlin said.
"That tenner will give someone sanitary towels and a pack of toiletries for the next month to help them feel good."
Laura Silver is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Laura Silver at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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