Aberdeen City Council continues to tackle period poverty

Aberdeen City Council continues to raise awareness of period poverty as today (Monday 24 May) marks the launch of Period Poverty Week.

Tackling the barriers of period poverty is recognised by Aberdeen Council, with the provision of free period products across city schools and in the wider community. The ongoing programme, launched initially in 2017, is locally co-ordinated by Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE).

Since the introduction of The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act in November 2020, the provision of free period products is now universally available with a legal duty on local authorities to make them available for all who need them.

In addition to offering a range of free products including sanitary towels and tampons the Council and CFINE are committed to raising awareness of reusable products such as menstrual cups and washable towels. A lesson plan has been developed to educate children and young people about reusable products highlighting the benefits such as reducing waste and being more financially viable.

Councillor Lesley Dunbar, Aberdeen City Council’s spokeswoman for young people, said: "We are proud of being a leader in Scotland in piloting free period products with our £40,000 investment. This has been instrumental in their provision and distribution at our schools and community venues. 

“We are proud to work in partnership with CFINE to tackle period poverty and ensure the dignity and wellbeing of girls and women in our city.”

Lisa Duthie, Chief Executive at Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE) said: “We are committed to environmentally friendly practices and helping our community save money wherever they can, so we teamed up with local partners to raise awareness about reusables and help people get these great products safely, without any fuss, and best of all, for free.

“Over the last year we have given out nearly 450 reusable products, but our goal is to increase the uptake of reusables by 2000 over this year, and to help erase the stigma around menstruation with our campaign.”

The Scottish Government have distributed funds to each local authority to implement ‘Access to Period Products’ in schools and communities until 31 March 2022. This in addition to the council’s own £40,000 investment in 2019.