Access to free period products will be much easier as the council announced today the continuing partnership with Simon Community Scotland and an increase period friendly points from 30 to 300 community venues over the next three years to tackle period equity in the city.
Since 2017, schools in Glasgow have provided free period products to pupils – this initially started as a pilot in five secondary schools but has now been rolled out to all 30 secondaries who work with their local primary schools.
And for the last year, Glasgow City Council has been working with Simon Community Scotland to extend the access of products in council and community buildings to those in need and some of our most vulnerable citizens.
The pilot has seen the Simon Community Period Friendly Points established in 6 Glasgow Life community centres and 11 community libraries across the north west of the city.
Each point carries a range of ‘Hey Girls’ period products, new underwear and wipes – in the public toilet where women can just help themselves without the need to ask.
The pilot has been an overwhelming success with positive feedback from users, staff and the Simon Community volunteers.
To build on this successful pilot, the council will now work with Simon Community Scotland to roll out this important initiative across Glasgow.
Councillor Jennifer Layden, City Convener for Community Empowerment, Equalities and Human Rights, said: “On average a women will spend around £18,000 on period products in a lifetime. The reality is that this monthly expenditure is just not affordable for a number of individuals and our families in the city.
“Period products are a right, not a luxury.
“No one should ever be in an embarrassing situation that they have to use alternative means or for example, not attend lessons at schools because of their period.
“The pilot has proved really successful and using community venues has been a particularly positive move in order to be as inclusive as possible.
“To expand, we now need volunteers to be able to make sure that any one in need across the city has access at a community venue they are already visiting.”
One key element will be the recruitment of volunteers to help deliver and restock points in local communities and the event today is to launch is to raise awareness of period equity and the volunteer recruitment drive.
Lorraine McGrath, CEO of Simon Community Scotland said: “At Simon Community Scotland we know that all forms of poverty are key causes of homelessness, we also know that women experiencing homelessness have unique challenges and the most vulnerable women are often the most difficult to reach and connect with. Our Period Friendly Points and our wonderful volunteer Period Friendly Pals provide vulnerable women with a touch point to some personal dignity and a tiny, but vital, element of personal control. Making use of a Period Friendly Point also provides what might just be a critical connection with Simon Community Scotland with a clear message that they matter to us and our partners and that we are here to help and respond. We are delighted and very grateful to be working with Glasgow City Council to create those opportunities across our communities, widening that potential for the too many women who just need that ‘period of dignity’.”
Andrew Olney, Head of Communities and Libraries, Glasgow Life added: “Our community centres and community libraries are at the heart of each and every community in Glasgow providing a free, safe and welcoming space for all.
“Our partnership with the Simon Community ensures that these vital products are made more accessible to women in the community most at need. Glasgow Life is committed to supporting the roll out of more period friendly points across other venues citywide.”