Free san­i­tary prod­ucts in all high schools

Hamilton Advertiser - - ALL ABOUT LANARKSHIRE -

Free san­i­tary prod­ucts will be dis­trib­uted within all sec­ondary schools in North La­nark­shire in a bid to end‘pe­riod poverty’ for pupils.

The de­ci­sion to pi­lot the project fol­lows unan­i­mous agree­ment from coun­cil­lors.

The coun­cil will also con­sider rolling out the scheme uni­ver­sally to other es­tab­lish­ments in­clud­ing leisure cen­tres, li­braries and com­mu­nity cen­tres.

Coun­cil­lor Heather Mcvey, Equal­i­ties Cham­pion, said:“pe­riod poverty is an is­sue that is of­ten a pri­vate strug­gle for many peo­ple and if the pro­vi­sion of free san­i­tary prod­ucts within schools can help to re­lieve the sit­u­a­tion for many young peo­ple in North La­nark­shire, then we are mak­ing a real and valu­able im­pact to sup­port fam­i­lies liv­ing in poverty.

“There has been wide­spread dis­cus­sion about the im­pact poverty can have for girls and women in terms of dif­fi­cul­ties ex­pe­ri­enced when men­stru­at­ing.

“While the coun­cil wel­comes the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment de­vel­op­ing its pol­icy for next year, we felt this was such a press­ing mat­ter we wanted to make a dif­fer­ence im­me­di­ately.”

Free dis­pens­ing ma­chines will be in­stalled in toi­lets of the 23 sec­ondary schools across North La­nark­shire, stocked with a range of san­i­tary prod­ucts. A re­port that went be­fore coun­cil­lors stated:“the cost of in­stal­la­tion and stock for each school will to­tal £25,000. This can be met from cur­rent health and well­be­ing bud­gets. How­ever, we have ac­tively sought part­ner­ship with sev­eral ma­jor phar­ma­cists and await their re­sponse.”

The Hamil­ton Ad­ver­tiser re­ported last month that schools across South La­nark­shire could also of­fer free san­i­tary prod­ucts to pupils in a bid to tackle“pe­riod poverty”.

Chair­per­son of the Ed­u­ca­tion Re­sources Com­mit­tee, Coun­cil­lor Katy Loudon, an­nounced that the lo­cal au­thor­ity sup­ports“in prin­ci­ple the pro­vi­sion of free san­i­tary prod­ucts to school pupils”.

She added:“it is un­ac­cept­able that any woman or girl in Scot­land should be un­able to ac­cess san­i­tary pro­tec­tion due to poverty. We know that school chil­dren face chal­lenges when ac­cess­ing san­i­tary prod­ucts, and whilst there are projects cur­rently in place to help, we do not be­lieve they go far enough.

“That is why I am de­lighted that we are con­sid­er­ing how best to sup­ply free, eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble san­i­tary prod­ucts in schools across South La­nark­shire.

“Such a project, along with the work un­der­taken by the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment, will go some way to tack­ling the scourge of pe­riod poverty and give pupils the sup­port and dig­nity they de­serve.”

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