University tackles period poverty by delivering free products during lockdown

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STUDENTS have been able to access free period products at home thanks to a delivery scheme launched during lockdown.

Around 200 students at Edinburgh Napier have benefited from the initiative, which runs in tandem with social enterprise Hey Girls.

The partnership was established last year to provide a range of free period products to students in various locations across Edinburgh Napier property.

Within the first weeks of free delivery being available, a total of 177 orders had been placed.

Jamie Pearson, Environmental Sustainability Manager at Edinburgh Napier, said: “The deliveries build upon the fantastic work carried out by the University cleaning supervisors and student-led Bleedin’ Saor team to ensure all students at Edinburgh Napier have access to free period products.

“We’re very grateful to the Scottish Government for providing funding to enable this initiative.”

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Celia Hodson, Founder of Hey Girls said: “We don’t believe anyone should be denied access to period products, during a global pandemic or not.  Access to period products is a human right, yet sadly there is still work to be done across the UK to recognise this.

“It’s been incredible to witness, however, the acknowledgement from so many local authorities and educational institutes that this issue is so important, especially during Covid-19.

“Working with our partners to provide period protection during the coronavirus pandemic hopefully means that women and girls in these settings have one less thing to worry about and can feel confident whilst on their periods.”

“We are working to expand this initiative across the UK, and welcome the opportunity to work with new councils, schools and colleges to keep everyone period protected during Covid-19.”

The project is the latest in a number of schemes  pearheaded by the university which aim to end period poverty and stigma.

Last year, a student collective called ‘Bleedin’ Saor’ successfully worked with the University, and Hey Girls to develop a new dispenser for its range of period products.

This dispenser can now be found in key bathrooms across the University and is also being used by Hey Girls’ clients throughout the country.