Free period products in Glasgow and the new app that tells you where and how to get them

By Carla Jenkins

A new app has been launched that shows hundreds of locations around Glasgow offering free period products.

The PickupMyPeriod app currently links to over 700 venues across Scotland where free products are available – and the number is expected to grow.

Glasgow has a number of venues already added to the app, which is free to download.

It comes as a virtual consultation takes place today to figure out the next steps of the free period product roll out in Scotland, where they are are a 'right not a luxury'.

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Celia Hodson, Founder and CEO of Hey Girls and My Period, said: “This is a ground-breaking project for Scotland. For the first time, people across the country will be able to use an app to find and access free period products that they can walk or drive to easily.

“As a Scottish-based social enterprise whose core goal is to help eradicate period poverty, it was great to have our app idea adopted, part-funded and supported by the Scottish Government. PickupMyPeriod will act as a fantastic tool to raise awareness of period poverty and equality, as well as providing support to people who need a little extra support across Scotland.”

What is the app and how do I get it?

The PickupMyPeriod app shows the user the nearest location where they can pick up free period products, as well as the opening time of that location and a map to how to get there.

The app was launched virtually with pupils from St Paul’s High School and Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison.

Scotland was the first country in the world to make period products widely available for free – firstly in schools, colleges and universities, then followed by wider access in communities.

A supporter of the Period Products bill at a rally outside Parliament in Edinburgh. (PA Wire/PA Images)

The new app is developed by Hey Girls and funded by the Scottish Government through their education arm ‘My Period’. Hey Girls products are all sustainably sourced, reusable and plastic free.

Ms Robison said: “The app is a fantastic tool that will help everyone who wants to access free period products for themselves, a family member or friend to easily find them in many places across Scotland.

“I’m thankful for the support of local authorities in the implementation of access to free period products in Scotland. Young women and girls have been crucial in developing the best ways to access products to meet their needs and I’m grateful to them for sharing their views.”

What is the Free Period Product Act?

The Period Products (Free Provision) Scotland Act 2021 places responsibility on councils and education providers across Scotland to make period products accessible and free of charge for anyone who needs them.

The Act will come fully into force by January 2023 and will ensure that everyone in Scotland who menstruates can have reasonably convenient access to period products as and when needed.

Campaigners back the bill outside the Scottish Parliament in February (2020 Getty Images)

Where can I get free period products?

Schools in Glasgow have provided free period products to pupils since 2017. This started as part of a pilot in four secondary schools - Castlemilk High, Hillpark Secondary, St Paul's High and Smithycroft Secondary - and has now been extended to all 30 secondary schools in the city.

Glasgow city council has also continued its working partnership with Simon Community Scotland to increase period friendly points across the city, extending this to multiple council and community venues.

Each point offers a range of Hey Girls Period products, new underwear and wipes, where people can help themselves to what they require without the need to ask.

A virtual event is being held today to launch its public consultation on the future rollout of free period products across the city.

What is the council saying about it?

Councillor Jennifer Layden, City Convener for Community Empowerment, Equalities and Human Rights, said: “Period products are a right, not a luxury. The monthly expenditure for period products is simply not affordable, nor sustainable for many individuals across the country.

“Securing fairness and restoring dignity in relation to periods is at the heart of this consultation. This is aided by the introduction of the new PickupMyPeriod app which provides essential information to users on where they can access free period products from locations across Glasgow.

“I am extremely impressed by the pupils at St Paul’s High School for their dedication and determination to help address the stigma associated with periods.

“This consultation provides a platform for all citizens to have a say in shaping the future provision of free period products.”

What is inkl?

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