Free Sanitary Products

As a woman and a mother of two girls I was delighted to see today a pilot scheme starting in Aberdeen for free sanitary products to be supplied to women on low incomes.

More than 1000 women and young girls on low incomes in the Aberdeen area shall benefit from the pilot scheme which is scheduled to run for 6 months.

This project is being brought to the Aberdeen area by the Scottish Government who have ear marked £42,500 for the project, which shall allow women to access free sanitary products with immediate effect.

The group running this project are Community Food Initiatives North East (CFINE) who are a social enterprise determined to help the well being and health of people living in poverty. The group are committed to maintaining the dignity of women whilst supplying them with their free products.

Whilst meeting with groups involved in the CFINE distribution centre, Angela Constance who is the Scottish Governments Equalities Secretary  said

“It is unacceptable that any woman or girl in Scotland should be unable to access sanitary products. That is why, as part of our wider aims to eradicate poverty from our country, we are exploring how to make products freely available to low-income groups.

“The pilot in Aberdeen is a first step to help us understand the barriers women and girls face – and to help us develop a sensitive and dignified solution to making these products easily accessible to those who need them.”

The CEO of CFINE Dave Simmers said “This is a very welcome development and CFINE is delighted to be involved. CFINE and our 60 partner organisations engaged in Food Poverty Action Aberdeen are very aware of the cost and challenges of accessing sanitary products for many girls and women from low-income households.

“Over a woman’s lifetime, sanitary products cost on average more than £5,000, a significant sum for those on low-income. Many cannot afford them and may use inappropriate methods or miss school. The findings of this pilot should be very useful in informing future action by the Scottish Government.”

The pilot scheme will be found in seven regeneration areas of the city, and CFINE are working with.



  • Northfield Community Centre:

Byron Square
AB16 7LL
Tel: 01224 695416

  • Printfield Community Project:
    11 Printfield Walk,
    AB24 4AU
  • Seaton Community Project and the Rehab Project

Seaton Place East
AB24 1XE

          Tel: 01224 492032
  • Tillydrone Community Flat

3 Alexander Terrace,


AB24 2QT

         Tel: 01224 486641

The organisations partnered in the pilot are

Working along with Aberdeen City Council and North East Scotland , CFINE intend to extend this project to include school pupils and college students from low-income households.

Evaluation of this pilot shall take place including management and co-ordination, distribution, and of course the beneficiaries themselves.

I am sure I am not alone in watching this pilot scheme with great interest as I know from researching women on low incomes that sanitary products can often be the last item on a household shopping list and alleviating this worry from women can only be a step in the right direction.


Helen Armet



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