Plans for tampons and pads to be freely provided in Nottingham’s schools and businesses are being praised by charities and the public.
The new scheme, approved by the full council this month, hopes to fight period poverty by making sanitary items more accessible to those on low incomes.
Councillor Nick Raine, who proposed the motion, said that many women across the city now visit food banks to get menstrual supplies.
He added: “currently, the only group who has a statutory right to access free sanitary products is female prisoners.
“Sanitary products are also not luxury items, they should be a right.”
Plan International, a global children’s charity, estimates that 1 in 10 girls in the UK have been unable to afford the essential items to deal with their period, while 1 in 7 have struggled to buy these necessities.
As well as placing free pads and tampons in schools, the council will be encouraging local businesses to provide free products to their staff.
Gabby Edlin is the CEO and founder of Bloody Good Period, a charity providing free menstrual supplies to asylum seekers, refugees and others who cannot afford them.
She was “pleased” with the council’s plans and said: “it’s so important that the responsibility of period care doesn’t fall to people in the community and charitable projects like us.
“Better, freer and easier access to products will no doubt make those who menstruate feel a little bit more respected and set their minds at ease, as no one wants to be caught without a tampon or pad, no matter who you are.”
Some businesses already provide sanitary products for their customers, including Brewdog and Nottingham Trent Students’ Union, whilst Mansfield Town Football Club began offering supporters free tampons and pads this September.
Twitter users have also supported the initiative, calling the council’s plans ‘wonderful news’.
— VR Sani-Co Ltd (@vrsanicoltd) November 14, 2018