Providing access to free sanitary products

Provision in Aberdeen extended.

Women from low-income households in Aberdeen will continue to receive free sanitary products.

The Scottish Government will provide Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE) with £12,000 to continue to make products available to people who have signed up to the pilot until the evaluation is complete.

It will also allow provision to continue to be tested in the schools, college and university involved in the pilot. 

The original pilot, which began last September, offered free sanitary products to women through CFINE, a local social enterprise. The findings of the pilot are expected to be published in the summer.

Equalities Secretary Angela Constance announced the extension during a debate on International Women’s Day. She said: 

“The pilot in Aberdeen is helping us to better understand the barriers that some women face when it comes to accessing sanitary products, and how we could make free products easily accessible to those who need them.

Our six month pilot in the north east is coming to an end, having successfully recruited over 1000 women.  I’m particularly encouraged by the interest the pilot has generated in reusable sanitary products which are environmentally friendly and financially sustainable.

“We have begun to analyse the information collected during the pilot and the final reports are expected over the summer. In the meantime, I’m pleased to announce that we will continue to make sanitary products available through Community Food Initiatives North East until we have the full results of the pilot.”

Dave Simmers, Chief Executive of CFINE said:

“CFINE was delighted that Scottish Government supported this much needed pilot - we are even more delighted about the continuation of supply for those who signed up for free sanitary products during the pilot.  It’s a very welcome development and clear recognition and support on this essential health and well-being issue.”


A number of partner organisations have supported  the pilot including:

  • HomeStart
  • Instant Neighbour
  • Grampian Women’s Aid
  • St George’s Church
  • Aberdeen Foyer

The pilot operated across seven regeneration areas of the city, working with:

  • Cummings Park Community Centre
  • Fersand and Fountain Community Project
  • Middlefield Community Project
  • Printfield Community Project
  • Seaton Community Project and the Rehab Project
  • Tillydrone Community Flat
  • Torry partner organisations

CFINE also worked with Aberdeen City Council, Robert Gordon University and North East Scotland College, with a view to extending the pilot to provide sanitary products for school pupils and students.

CFINE is the FareShare redistribution centre for Grampian – one of four in Scotland. The Scottish Government is providing £450,000 from 2016-18 to support FareShare redistribution of surplus food to organisations working with vulnerable people.

The plan for the evaluation can be accessed online.


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