Angus Leads Fight to Eradicate Period Poverty
Period poverty is set to be eradicated within Angus by the end of the year, despite the challenges of COVID-19.
Within the last year, ‘Free Period Angus’, part of the Scottish Government’s Period Poverty Campaign, has provided over 70,000 free products to girls and women throughout the area.
One in ten people in the UK cannot afford basic menstrual hygiene products and, in Angus, two/three in ten girls and women are not attending school or work due to a lack of period products.
Having already distributed free period products to almost 200 community collection points across Angus, from sports centres and GP surgeries to shops and charities, the project team was forced to consider new and innovative ways to continue the momentum when COVID struck.
As a result, Angus Community Planning Partnership has since become one of the first in the UK to team up with ‘Hey Girls’ who can post three months’ worth of products, including environmentally-friendly reusable pads, on behalf of Free Period Angus.
Free Period Angus is coordinated by Angus Community Planning Partnership. Shelley Hague, Strategic Policy and Planning Manager of Angus Council said, “We have achieved so much since Free Period Angus began, so COVID wasn’t going to stand in our way!
“Period products are expensive. At up to £18 per month, they’re just another financial burden and, for many, one they simply cannot afford. Similarly, with disposable products a significant blight on our environment, reusable products are a brilliant alternative and really growing in popularity. Whether collecting them in town or ordering them online, anyone living in Angus can now get their period products for free so we’re looking to spread the word, particularly amongst those living in poverty, or isolating.”
With the project funded until at least the end of 2022, the team is on track to eradicate period poverty before the year is out.
Free Period Angus has also teamed up with community group Sustainable Kirriemuir. This year alone, this collaboration has prompted requests from an additional 2,000 people throughout Angus for free, reusable products.
Lauren Urquhart, Sustainable Kirriemuir Learning and Events Leader explained, “We support people in making small changes to live more sustainably and considerably and want to demonstrate that these small changes can make a big difference. By working with Free Period Angus, we are encouraging people to consider reusable products as an alternative to disposables, helping reduce waste and protect our environment. Disposable products are really growing in popularity – you’ll never be in period poverty if you use and own them, and you’re doing your bit to save the planet in the process.”
Amy Briggs, Senior Marketing Manager, Hey Girls added, “We’ve been so excited to partner with Angus Community Planning Partnership and Sustainable Kirriemuir championing sustainable period products within their communities. It’s clear from the huge response and positive reviews that people are becoming more aware of the impact that period waste has on our environment and are willing to make the transition to trying reusable products. Environmentally sustainable period products can be used for years at a time, saving tonnes of waste going to landfill as well as removing pressure on household budgets at the same time.”