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#perioddignity a team effort

Facilities Management have teamed up with the Community Facilities Team to co-design and co-own a new strategy to tackle Period Poverty.

Named ‘Period Dignity – North Ayrshire’ the new initiative will involve staff across both Services working together in partnership with a shared vision of strengthening and improving the existing operating model. The Scottish Government legislation on free period products will also underpin this work.

The Council is proud to be the first local authority to introduce free period products in schools, community centres, libraries and public buildings but there is a recognition that period poverty still exists and therefore more work and focus is needed to alleviate the problem in North Ayrshire.

Period Poverty has been exacerbated during Covid-19 with the rising costs of living and the restricted access to a range of Council buildings, where people used to be able to pick up free products.

A number of households facing hardship struggle to provide food on the table and heating in their homes. Regretfully, this then often leads to people improvising and using inappropriate items.

The lack of period products is often a barrier to the participation in education, learning, work and general daily activities. The lack of hygienic supplies can then cause long lasting physical and emotional issues for those who are struggling to access them.

In a bid to tackle the problem, Facilities Management have teamed up with the Community Facilities Team to co-design and co-own the new strategy and revised operational model for the provision of period supplies.

Community Facilities Manager, Donna Morrison commented: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to be working in partnership with the Facilities Management Team to create the new Period Dignity Team as we support and contribute to this important #perioddignity strategy.

“This is not a service issue, but a Council issue and the work lends itself to a multi-service, creative and collaborative approach.

“In modern days, there should be nobody going without adequate supplies so we will be drawing on all of our contacts, networks and community partners to help us identify and reach those most in need, providing resources accordingly to make a difference.”

Facilities Manager, Carolyn Hope continued: “The Council has continued to lead the way with the provision of free period products, and as part of this work I was proud to represent our Facilities Management Team when I was invited to give evidence at the Scottish Parliament on the Free Period Products (Scotland) Bill.

“Legislation has now been passed to give everyone the equal right to access period products. This is a huge responsibility for the Council, and we recognise that we need a far wider reach into our communities to reach those people who are most in need.

“The Community Facilities teams were a natural partner to take this forward and I’m delighted to be working alongside Donna. I’m sure this partnership will ensure we are developing our Service model in the right way for our communities and make certain that we meet our legislative requirements.”

In order to inform the future strategy and operating model, the combined team effort has now seen the launch of the virtual consultation to hear the views from citizens on the existing provision and to provide an opportunity for people to suggest areas for improvement.

The Period Dignity virtual consultation launched on 7 March and will run until midnight on 14 April and it takes the form of two online surveys: one targeting school pupils and the other to hear the views of the general public – which you can access online here.

Council employees and Service leads are being asked to:

  • Help promote the survey to clients, contacts and staff;
  • Request any hard copies of the posters or surveys to further encourage engagement and participation;
  • Participate in the consultation if you have a personal experience or views to share;
  • Get in touch directly with the Period Dignity Team with any information, case studies or ideas which you would like to be considered.

To contact the team email:

And the Period Dignity Team have also teamed up with the Council’s Fairer Food network of 11 established community larders to help reach more vulnerable residents. See the graphic (left) for your nearest larder or visit the Google Map locater here.

Donna added: “We quickly identified the early opportunity to optimise on the work and relationships with our community larders. This provides a further route and natural pathway to reach low-income households. This model provides dignified access for residents to access complimentary free period products and targets our resources to those most in need.

“This is just a starter, we need to optimise on any opportunity to raise awareness of the issue and reach more people, so we would really value your feedback via the survey if you have ideas to share.

“We look forward to receiving the feedback from our communities survey which will further inform our thinking and development plan and encourage as many staff as possible, and Service leads to get involved and get behind us to highlight the importance of #perioddignity for all.”

View the survey and find out more information on the Community Planning Partnership website here: Period Dignity – North Ayrshire – North Ayrshire Community Planning Partnership

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