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Free sanitary products offered across Scotland for low-income women

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Women from low-income homes across Scotland will be offered free sanitary products as part of a pilot scheme in one city is rolled out across the country.

The trial project in Aberdeen last year was funded by the Scottish governmentand distributed free products to more than 1,000 women.

Now ministers will provide charity FareShare with more than 500,000 to extend the scheme which aims to reach more than 18,000 more people.

The organisation will use its centres in Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh to begin handing out products over the summer.

Free sanitary items will also be available to those at school, college or university from August.

The 2016 film I, Daniel Blake, which featured a poverty-stricken woman stealing tampons, highlighted the issue of the affordability of sanitary products to greater attention and helped inspire Scotlands pilot scheme.

It was believed to be the first national government-sponsored effort of its type.

Scotland’s equalities secretary Angela Constance said: “It is unacceptable that anyone in Scotland should be unable to access sanitary products, and I am pleased that we are able to work with FareShare to make products available more widely through the services delivered by their partners.”

Labour MSP Monica Lennon welcomed the extension of the scheme, but called for a statutory requirement to ensure free provision in schools, colleges and universities as well as “placing a duty on the Scottish government to deliver a free universal system of access” to sanitary protection.

Head of FareShare in Scotland Gillian Kynoch said: “We are excited to be working with the Scottish Government to use this network to make sanitary products available to people across Scotland.”

The pilot scheme was led by the Community Food Initiatives North East social enterprise, and was welcomed by anti-poverty campaigners, including The Trussell Trust.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/sanitary-products-free-periods-tampons-scotland-aberdeen-a8376296.html

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