PUPILS in North Ayrshire are being offered a long term supply of free period products.
The new initiative called “period product subscription” allows secondary pupils to register for a supply of free sanitary products.
North Ayrshire Council who have created the scheme, say each pack will contain enough tampons or pads to cover two or three months of the menstrual cycle.
The service is initially being offered to secondary pupils as part of a pilot to help determine demand, costs and fine-tune the registration and delivery process.
However, once a sustainable model is agreed, it is hoped that the service will then be extended to include primary pupils.
Free products will continue to be available across all primary and secondary schools for pupils to access.
Council Leader Joe Cullinane, said: “Period poverty is something we have taken very seriously since we learned of the extent of the issue back in 2017.
“No one should be faced with the embarrassment of improper sanitary protection simply because they cannot afford it.
“After all, periods are not exempt from poverty, they don’t take account of what is in your pocket or purse.
“That’s why we are proud to be a Council that has stood against this for a number of years, ensuring our young people don’t miss out on their education over a basic human need.”
Pupils will have the option of trying out more sustainable products such as menstrual cups and reusable pads which provide environmental benefits and help save money on disposable products.
The reusable pads are being supplied by TCS-eco, a social enterprise based in Irvine.
Mr Cullinane added:“Our initiatives have been extremely well received locally by the people that benefit from the service, but also nationally and internationally too as we raised the bar in how local authorities can support their residents with this important issue.
“I am delighted that we are extending the service even further to provide pupils with a longer supply of free period products straight to their door.
“Not only that, but by offering more sustainable options to disposable products, we can also help tackle another important issue – climate change, all while supporting a local social enterprise.
“We will continue to strive to ensure people can access these vital products in a dignified way.”