THE council has spent £20,000 on providing sanitary products to women and girls through an online ordering service designed to tackle period poverty.

The system was launched at the start of May after the usual venues people could collect free towels and tampons from had to close due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

In the initial two-week trial, almost 400 orders were placed for products and, since then, 60 people on average a month have been using the service.

Sanitary items have also been supplied to Inverclyde Foodbank and been included in around 300 fortnightly lockdown parcels since the second week in April. 

However, with usual collection points gradually starting to open again and schools scheduled to welcome pupils back on August 12, the council anticipates the service will finish at the end of next week.

Councillor Lynne Quinn, the council’s women’s champion, says many families have come forward to say how much of a difference the service has made and assured people they will still be able to get in touch if they are struggling to access products.

Cllr Quinn said: “The council reacted quickly to the obstacles created by lockdown by establishing the online ordering system as a temporary solution for the continued provision of free sanitary products for those who need them in our communities.

“It’s a scheme that has worked incredibly well and many families have said how appreciative they were for it.

"Inverclyde Council is committed to tackling period poverty.

“As we return to some form of normality with more places reopening due to the easing of lockdown restrictions and with pupils expected to return to schools in less than three weeks, the provision of free sanitary products can also return to normal.

“Products will continue to be available in the usual places and anyone who is having difficulties accessing what they need can get in touch with the council’s education services for support.”

There is set to be an official review of the system but council chiefs have already indicated it is likely it will come to a close at that point.

Anyone who is facing difficulties accessing period products should email or call 01475 715450.