FVC celebrates world’s first free Period Products Bill

Pauline welcomes new Bill

FVC celebrates world’s first free Period Products Bill

Forth Valley College is today celebrating a cause close to its heart, with the passing of a new Bill making Scotland the world’s first country to provide free period products.

On Tuesday in the Scottish Parliament, a bill introduced by MSP Monica Lennon called the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill, was unanimously voted into law. The MSP – Scottish Labour’s Health Spokesperson - has been campaigning on this issue since 2016 and visited Forth Valley College in August 2018 to back the free sanitary product distribution service available at FVC’s three campuses.

Local authorities across Scotland are now legally obliged to ensure that free sanitary products are made available to anyone who needs them.

After the Bill was passed, Monica said it was a "practical and progressive" piece of legislation, which had become even more essential during the current pandemic restrictions.

She added: "Periods don't stop for pandemics and the work to improve access to essential tampons, pads and reusables, has never been more important."

Forth Valley College’s free female sanitary product initiative – which began in 2018 - received support from Monica and there was more good news when the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) announced that FVC would receive £51,368 to help fund this initiative.

Since the lockdown started the College has already sent fourteen orders to Hey Girls and helped a total of 129 students and supplying of 639 products, which as well as normal sanitary products also includes the latest washable sanitary towels and menstruation cups, that can be easily washed out and re-used time and again, allowing students to save money and reduce the impact on the environment in these challenging times.

Pauline Donaldson, FVC’s Soft Services and Sustainability Manager, who has been driving the initiative at the college, said: “What fantastic news this is. We have been absolutely delighted to back Monica and her campaign since around 2018, and to now have a new bill passed to make sanitary products free for everyone in Scotland is just brilliant.

“During the lockdown we have been helping students as much as we can to support Period Dignity and our partnership with Hey Girls and the backing from the Scottish Funding Council has allowed us to make several deliveries over the last few months, but we want to make even more and encourage more students to contact us if they can benefit from the service. 

“We are determined to offer as much help, advice and support on the issue of Period Dignity to ensure that we can provide easy access to products to minimise the impact on an individual’s ability to fully participate in education at all levels.”

Forth Valley College Principal Dr Ken Thomson, said: “We have been more than happy to lend support to this important initiative led by Monica Lennon since we started delivering this service in 2018. Scotland as a whole, and especially further and higher education organisations such as ourselves, have helped to raise awareness of the issue which has been sadly neglected till now. We pride ourselves on being a progressive and forward thinking college and it is initiatives such as this which help us make learning work for our students.

“Forth Valley College is delighted that the new Bill has been passed and is very proud of Pauline and her efforts to make sure our students have had access to these products when they need them, especially through lockdown. A big well done to her.”

Students are asked to let the college know what products they would like to receive, by using the following link https://bit.ly/2R45Q4O 

To find our more contact Pauline Donaldson FVC’s Soft Services and Sustainability Manager on sustainability@forthvalley.ac.uk

 

 

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