The umbrella organisation representing charities in Scotland is to provide free sanitary products to all staff, tenants and visitors to their buildings, as part of the wider campaign to end period poverty in Scotland.

As of this week the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) will provide free sanitary pads and tampons in each of its buildings across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. This will not only benefit SCVO staff but also the staff and volunteers of the various charities which are based in the organisation’s five offices, and those visiting the premises.

The move comes ahead of the introduction of the Sanitary Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill, which will introduce a legal duty on the Scottish Government to develop a universal system in Scotland which will provide free sanitary products for anyone who needs them – including in schools, colleges and universities.

The term ‘period poverty’ has become a key topic amongst organisations which work to eradicate poverty and challenge gender inequalities. A recent study by Plan International UK found 45% of respondents living in Scotland said they have been forced to use makeshift sanitary wear including socks or newspapers because they have struggled to buy products.

SCVO Chief Executive Anna Fowlie said: “Monica Lennon MSP has done a great job highlighting period poverty as a serious issue for women and girls across Scotland that we can all do something to address. Our buildings are used by lots of people across the voluntary sector, and I’m very pleased that SCVO is playing its own part.”