Pilot scheme to provide sanitary products in Aberdeen: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/17/01612
Date received: 13 July 2017
Date responded: 9 August 2017

Information requested

You asked for information about a Scottish Government funded pilot scheme to provide access to sanitary products for people from low incomes homes in Aberdeen, specifically:

  1. Details on how women and girls will be able to access free sanitary products from the partner organisations involved in delivering the scheme

  2. The process by which women and girls in need of these products will be identified

  3. Whether women and girls will be issued with identification or any other paperwork in order to qualify

  4. If there will be a limit on the number or type of products available and, if yes, what this limit will be and how it will be enforced

  5. Where products will be sourced from, including details of the manufacturers and companies who will be supplying the products

  6. What type of products will be supplied – including if it will only be tampons and sanitary towels, or if reusable products, such as mooncups, will be considered

  7. Details on how the project will be monitored and evaluated, including full details of the research methodology for how this will be carried and who will be carrying out the evaluation


1. Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE) will distribute sanitary products to community-based organisations and education establishments, and it will be for these partners – along with their service users – to decide the most appropriate ways of making products available locally.

2. The partners have been selected on the basis of their expertise of working with people experiencing poverty, which makes them well placed to identify those most in need. For example, many well established community projects across Aberdeen's seven regeneration areas that have extensive, trusting contacts with those who are experiencing poverty in their areas. Additionally, CFINE are in discussion with North East Scotland College and with Aberdeen City Council's Education Service to agree arrangements for making products available for students and pupils in the new academic year. In all cases, the approach will be discrete and sensitive and will be tailored to the particular circumstance of each organisation and the needs and wishes of individuals themselves.

3. We do not anticipate a requirement for those wishing to access sanitary products to produce paperwork or other evidence.

4. Those affected will be able to get sufficient supplies of their preferred product, choosing from the range made available throughout the pilot to meet their need.

5. To date, CFINE has purchased Tampax and Bodyform products from local branches of Sainsbury's and Tesco, and from Bookers Cash & Carry. Own-brand products will also be included as part of the offer.

6. A range of tampons, disposable and reusable sanitary towels and menstrual cups is being made available.

7. We are working with CFINE to finalise an evaluation plan and to ensure appropriate data about the pilot is gathered. Once finalised, the evaluation plan will be published on the Scottish Government website. The evaluation will inform policy development on the extent and nature of the issue; options for helping those affected, including the management, co-ordination and distribution of products; cost of delivery options; dignity and choice for beneficiaries in accessing products; and the wider impacts of the pilot on beneficiaries. A range of data will be collected for analysis, including from CFINE and partners, and will be supplemented with information gathered from surveying and interviewing beneficiaries and partners at key stages of the pilot.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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