News

Expanding access to free sanitary products

Published: 17 Jan 2019 00:01

£4 million extra funding

Further funding to increase the number of places where free sanitary products are available has been announced by Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell.

Local authorities will now have more funding to widen the number and range of places free sanitary products are available locally, increasing the roll-out of the Scottish Government's world leading action and access beyond schools, colleges and universities.

Beginning now and for next financial year, a total of £4 million is being made available to local authorities, who will deliver the expansion. They will work in partnership with other organisations to meet local needs and increase availability.

Announcing the expansion at a visit to Move On, a FareShare food centre involved in distributing sanitary products to low income people, Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:

"As the first country in the world to provide access to free sanitary products in schools, colleges and universities, we are going even further to increase the number of places where these vital products are available and reach more people on low incomes.

"In a society as rich as Scotland, no one should have to suffer the indignity of not having the means to meet their basic needs. We also want to continue to reduce the stigma and address the overarching gender equality and dignity issues that affect everyone who menstruate, regardless of their income.

"We are working to support people in a thoughtful and dignified way, working in partnership with organisations such as the COSLA and Move On."

Councillor Kelly Parry, COSLA's Community Wellbeing Spokesperson said: 

"COSLA  welcomes the wider roll-out of free sanitary provision across our communities. Extending provision beyond education settings will help ensure that no one experiences disadvantage, anxiety, stigma or embarrassment because of lack of access to suitable products.

"COSLA, and our member councils, were amongst the first organisations in Scotland to offer free sanitary products and this wider role out further enhances this provision."

Background

 In August 2018, the Scottish Government became the first government in the world to introduce access to free sanitary products for all students in schools, colleges and universities

Move On is a franchise holder of FareShare and operate FareShare Glasgow and West of Scotland. Their new food and training depot delivers surplus food supplies to children and families experiencing food poverty. In May 2018 the Scottish Government provided £500,000 to FareShare to expand access to sanitary products through their network of third sector partners. FareShare's network spreads across over 1,000 community organisations and groups and over 20,000 people are already benefitting from this initiative.