Commitment to tackling period poverty

More access to free sanitary products

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Across North Lanarkshire, over 23,000 free sanitary products have been distributed since July 2019, with even more people to benefit from a roll out of our period poverty project. 

People who menstruate will now have greater access to free sanitary products as these are made available in community outlets, schools/community hubs, Early Learning and Childcare Centres and NHS Lanarkshire (North) establishments across North Lanarkshire. In addition, an agreement is also in place to provide products within NHS Lanarkshire Health Centres and GP surgeries (subject to COVID - 19 safety guidance).

The aim of the project is to make the service as inclusive as possible and accessible to all.

Since the roll out of the initiative in July 2019, free products have been distributed across community centres, leisure centres, libraries, voluntary and community sector organisations, faith organisations, food banks and food co-operatives. And during Covid restrictions redistributed to local community groups and organisations for people to access.

Outlets for the products include; a total of 156 educational establishments and 202 Community, NHS, and Early Learning and Childcare establishments across North Lanarkshire.

Councillor Heather Brannan-McVey, Convener of Housing and Regeneration said: "Period Poverty is a real issue in Scotland, with many people struggling to pay for sanitary products. That's why we're agreeing this new contract and providing funding to broaden the scheme and increase access to include a further 82 outlets.

"We've already had positive feedback from across our communities where these free products are available, and these are making a real difference to their day to day lives. We're also looking at sustainable items too and introduced a selection of environmentally friendly products to test demand.

"By making products available, free, in council buildings in our communities and now in health centres and doctors' surgeries, we're making a positive, practical difference to anyone who menstruates and, we hope, removing some of the stigma around the issue."

Committee heard of the procurement process between Enterprise and Communities and Education and Families. The contract is for an initial period of 2 years, commencing November 2020. The council reserves the right to extend the contract for additional 2 years to 2024 subject to continuation of Scottish Government funding.

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