Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has today (Thursday 5 March) announced 12 locations throughout the Western Isles where sanitary products are to be made available, free of charge.

Under an initiative sponsored by The Scottish Government, COSLA and Young Scot, the Comhairle is to offer free sanitary products in public buildings. Access to free sanitary products has been in place in schools across the Western Isles since August 2018.

The sanitary products will be available in toilets signposted by posters. Tampons and pads are left in bags on the coat hooks within cubicles and individuals are invited to take what they need.

In Stornoway the free sites include toilets at the council offices, the sports centre, town hall, library and Museum nan Eilean. Ness and Shawbost swimming pools and Harris council offices will also have the products.

In Uist and Barra they can be found at Balivanich council offices, Lionacleit toilets, Barra council offices and Castlebay Community School.

In January, the Scottish Government launched a campaign called ‘Let’s call periods, periods’ which was aimed at challenging the stigma around periods and encouraging more people to talk openly about them.

The marketing campaign was aimed at young people and designed to show how, as a society, we use all kinds of words and phrases to avoid using the word ‘periods’ when they are a natural bodily function experienced by more than 50% of the population.

The campaign also included a scheme to expand the provision of free period products to those who need them the most in community settings, via local authorities and community groups.