Period poverty is a real issue in the UK. A 2018 survey by Young Scot and Scottish Government found that in the last year around one in four (26%) survey respondents at school, college or university had struggled to access sanitary products. Of those, 60% couldn’t access the product they needed, and nearly three quarters (71%) had to ask someone else for a tampon or towel or use an alternative such as toilet paper (70%).
The Scottish Government is the first Government in the world to make free sanitary products available to all pupils and students and learners at schools, colleges and universities, providing £5.2 million funding in support of this. In addition to the commitment for those in education, the Scottish Government is also providing targeted support for low income families.
As distribution partner, FareShare Scotland has received a grant from the Scottish Government to distribute sanitary products to an estimated 18,800 people across Scotland. Boots UK is offering its support for this initiative by providing and distributing its own brand sanitary care items.
Gillian Kynoch, Scottish Government Liaison and Special projects, FareShare Scotland, said: “Although FareShare’s usual task is to get surplus food to charities supporting vulnerable people – our links with frontline charities such as children and family centres and women’s refuges puts us in a unique position to help redistribute other vital products such as sanitary towels. FareShare in Scotland is pleased to be working with Boots UK on this important project. The collaboration will enable us to reach even more women and girls, maximising the impact of Scottish Ministers’ funding.”
Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, Aileen Campbell MSP, said: “No-one should have to suffer the indignity of not having the means to meet their basic needs. Sanitary products are not a luxury, and it is only right that they are made available to more women who struggle to pay for them.
“I applaud Boots UK for supporting women in this way. It complements our work to expand access to free sanitary products more widely in partnership with FareShare and others.”
Una Kent, Director of Communications and CSR at Boots, said “Every girl and young women should have the opportunity to thrive, and access to clean sanitary protection should not be a barrier. This is something we believe passionately, and so this is an initiative that we are immensely proud to support. This small but important piece of dignity provided to them through this partnership with FareShare and funding from the Scottish Government is a way to make sure that the most vulnerable can continue to have the same opportunities in life.”
This initiative will enable FareShare to supply products free of charge and Boots UK will not benefit financially in any way from this partnership.