A SCHEME to ensure all women and girls in Glasgow have fair access to sanitary products is to expand from 30 to 300 community venues.

Glasgow City Council and Simon Community Scotland have committed to introducing the increase in Period Friendly Points over the next three years.

Meanwhile, a pilot scheme in five secondary schools has also been rolled out to all 30 in the city.

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.”

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.

The pilot has seen the Simon Community Period Friendly Points established in six 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 where women can just help themselves.

The pilot has seen 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.

Ms Leydon added: “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.”

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.”

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.”