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Access to sanitary products

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Open University (OU) students in Scotland can get help to access sanitary products as part of a world-first Scottish Government scheme.
 
Learners at universities, colleges and schools across Scotland will benefit from the £5.2 million scheme, announced by the Scottish Government in August to help to eliminate period poverty.
 
Funds of up to £35 are now available to support the purchase of sanitary products under this scheme.
 
To be eligible for funds, students must be resident in Scotland and enrolled on an OU module for the current academic year. 
 
Subject to continued funding of the scheme, an application can be made each year that a student is registered with the OU.
 
Universities Scotland, Colleges Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) were among partners the Scottish Government worked closely with, to ensure the availability of products reflects the views and needs of learners.
 
Kate Signorini, Depute Director (Strategy, Planning and Resources) of the OU in Scotland, said: 
 
“Equality is central to everything we do as a University and we are committed to breaking down barriers which may impact on an individual’s ability to study with us. 
 
“As a distance learning institution, we don’t have students on campus but period poverty can still be an issue for people learning with us so we’re pleased to be able to take part in this scheme and support our students.”
 
Susannah Lane, Head of Public Affairs at Universities Scotland, said:
 
“It is unacceptable that anyone should suffer the embarrassment and distress caused by period poverty so we welcome free sanitary provision being made available in universities across Scotland. 
 
“Periods are a part of life but they shouldn’t be a point of inequality, compromise someone’s quality of life or be a distraction from making the very most of time spent at university so this is a positive step.”
 
To apply, please send an email to Scotland-AFSP-Scheme@open.ac.uk with your name, student personal identifier and your current module code.
 
Image, above left, by Trent Erwin on Unsplash.com.

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