Fight to end 'period poverty' rolled across South Ayrshire schools

 15 June 2018  |  

Hundreds of young women attending South Ayrshire schools are set to benefit from free sanitary products. The Council will soon be making products available free of charge to support the equality, dignity and rights of women and to ensure the lack of access to products doesn't affect their education.

The Scottish Government previously committed to provide sanitary products across Scotland and is now making around £40,000 available to South Ayrshire Council, with the majority of the money being invested in the products themselves.

Secondary schools will be allocated budgets depending on demand, with the service due to begin at the start of the school year in August. Special schools and primaries will receive a selection of products from their neighbouring secondary school. The system will be reviewed in February 2019 to establish how well it is working and if any further investment is needed.

Councillor William Grant, Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning said the move had been shaped by the views of young people. "We're committed to breaking down barriers to success and by making sanitary products available free of charge we're empowering young women to focus solely on their education.

"By speaking to young people in our schools we've identified what they think we should be providing, a factor that will help make this a success, with work already underway to make sure we have enough stock to meet demand after the summer break.

"We'll also be encouraging young women using the service to take home products for their use during the evenings, weekends and holidays so that the issue of so-called 'period poverty' becomes a thing of the past."

South Ayrshire Council has also commissioned a further report looking into broader provision for vulnerable women across South Ayrshire, with the findings scheduled to be considered by Councillors later this month.

The paper 'Free access to sanitary products in schools is available here.