How to access free sanitary products during the second Scottish lockdown

Because periods don’t stop for pandemics

I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful to live in Scotland – the only country to guarantee universal access to sanitary products in the entire world!

A bill passed in the Scottish Parliament in November, sponsored by Labour MSP Monica Lennon, enshrined the right for everyone who gets period to be able to access period products. Everyone in full time education (including uni students) have been able to access them for free since August 2018.

Normally, students at Edinburgh can just pop into the stand outside EUSA’s Advice Place in Potterrow to access free products – as well as some women’s and gender neutral toilets on campus. However, the national lockdown means Potterrow is closed.

How can you continue to access free sanitary products during the second lockdown?

This, plus the recognition that most students are being encouraged to stay away from campus, has encouraged the uni and EUSA to introduce home deliveries.

In partnership with Hey Girls (a social enterprise based in Musselburgh), you can now have sanitary products posted to you at any UK address. You just have to fill out this form and verify your student status with your uni email.

You can choose from a variety of different sustainable options including biodegradable pads, tampons, and liners. On top of this, you can opt for reusable options too. This includes: menstrual cups (that normally sell for £9.48 on the Hey Girls website), period pants (that would otherwise cost £16.95), and reusable pads (usually sold for up to £35.71).

All for free and all posted to any UK address.

What if I’m staying in Edinburgh and will be on campus?

You can find a list of all buildings (and whereabouts inside) that would normally stock sanitary products here. So, if a building is staying open, any distribution points inside will still be stocking period products as normal. For example, the uni is confirmed main lib is staying open, so the female toilets on LG, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors – plus the gender neutral toilets on ground – will still have period products.

But, EUSA are recommending people pick up products from inside the Bristo Square pharmacy if they don’t otherwise need to be on campus.

Other changes you need to know about

EUSA have also told us that they have moved the distribution points within Teviot. They have relocated the period products from the girls toilets in Teviot to make sure everyone – regardless of gender identity – can access them from a central location (outside Library Bar). This is in addition to another distribution point in a more private area beside the Debating Hall and Loft Bar toilets.

Even though Teviot is closed due to lockdown, this is good to remember for the future.

Why is this so important?

Niamh McCrossan,  VP (Welfare) of EUSA told The Edinburgh Tab“This is a great initiative to be introduced in the University; no student should have to experience period poverty, and the addition of a delivery service prioritises the needs of all students regardless of where they are. It is also so important that we invest in sustainable products, moving towards our sustainability commitments as an institution.”

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• Here are all the places you can get free period products and condoms around Edi