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CFINe praised by MSP for efforts to tackle period poverty

Central Scotland MSP Monica Lennon.
Central Scotland MSP Monica Lennon.

A north-east social enterprise has been praised for its trailblazing efforts to ensure no woman’s life is blighted by ‘period poverty’.

Two years after CFINe (Community Food Initiatives North East) led the first pilot scheme to provide period products to women on low incomes.

And yesterday Central Scotland MSP Monica Lennon travelled to Aberdeen to see for herself the work it is doing and hear about demand for CFINe services during the festive period.

Ms Lennon was in the north-east yesterday ahead of her Member’s Bill to end period poverty, which will start its first stage of parliamentary scrutiny tomorrow.

Speaking at CFINE’s city premises, she said: “The staff and volunteers at CFINe do an absolutely amazing job helping those who need it most.

“It is heartbreaking that so many people continue to struggle to make ends meet in 21st century Scotland.

“I’m encouraged to see the progress that’s been made in tackling period poverty since the pilot project two years ago but, sadly, period poverty still exists.

“That’s why I’m pushing for my Member’s Bill to be passed into legislation, so that a universal scheme is established and we can make sure no-one will ever have to go without these vital products.”

Chief executive of CFINe, Dave Simmers, was delighted that Ms Lennon took the time to visit and receive an update of its work around access to sanitary products.

He said the project was going “very well” but continued to highlight the need for access to products.

Mr Simmers added: “I am pleased to see that consideration of universal access to products is being progressed.

“This is a vital health and wellbeing issue.”

As part of Aberdeen City Council’s stated aim to eradicate period poverty, it has contracted CFINe to distribute sanitary products to buildings across the city, from where those in need can take them free of charge.

The latest buildings to be included in the scheme include Airyhall Library, Marischal College, Mastrick Access Point and the Whinhill Medical Practice.

In September 2018, the local authority invested £40,000 over and above national funding in a free distribution scheme across Aberdeen schools.

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