For the first time, people across Scotland will be able to pick up free period products from a range of public locations via a new app thanks to a project spearheaded by period product social enterprise Hey Girls.
The free app – called ‘Pick Up My Period’ – was devised by Celia Hodson, Founder and CEO of Hey Girls in collaboration with the Scottish Government. It allows people to find period products on the move or products closest to home. Users can even search for plastic-free products within the app.
The ‘Pick Up My Period’ app currently links to over 700 venues in communities where free products are available – and the number is expected to grow as further local authorities join the initiative.
Scotland was the first country in the world to make period products widely available for free – firstly in schools, colleges and universities, then followed by wider access in communities. The ‘Pick Up My Period’ app builds on this world-leading work.
Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison launched the app virtually with pupils from St Paul’s High School in Glasgow, where the council has worked closely with students in the delivery of free period products since the policy was introduced.
Ms Robison said:
“The app is a fantastic tool that will help everyone who wants to access free period products for themselves, a family member or friend to easily find them in many places across Scotland.
“I’m thankful for the support of local authorities in the implementation of access to free period products in Scotland. Young women and girls have been crucial in developing the best ways to access products to meet their needs and I’m grateful to them for sharing their views.”
The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) President, Councillor Alison Evison, added:
“Having recognised the impact lack of access to period products may have on individuals, Local Government has a longstanding commitment to provide free products both in education and community settings for those who may need them.
“As we look towards the implementation of the Period Products Act, I am delighted that work undertaken on period dignity both locally and nationally continues to progress and welcome the launch of the new app as a tool which can support this.”
Celia Hodson, Founder and CEO of Hey Girls and My Period, said:
“This is a ground-breaking project for Scotland. For the first time, people across the country will be able to use an app to find and access free period products that they can walk or drive to easily.
“As a Scottish-based social enterprise whose core goal is to help eradicate period poverty, it was great to have our app idea adopted, part-funded and supported by the Scottish government. ‘Pick Up My Period’ will act as a fantastic tool to raise awareness of period poverty and equality, as well as providing support to people who need a little extra support across Scotland.”
The Period Products (Free Provision) Scotland Act 2021 places duties on Local Authorities and education providers to make period products obtainable free of charge for anyone who needs them. The Act will come fully into force by January 2023 at the latest and will ensure that everyone in Scotland who needs them can have reasonably convenient access to period products, free of charge, as and when they are required.
The ‘Pick Up My Period’ app, which was expected to launch in 2020 but was delayed because of COVID19 restrictions, is now live on the Play and Apple stores for public access. It was created in collaboration by Hey Girls, students from Edinburgh Napier University and Scottish-based web and mobile agency Pogo Studio. Scottish design house Bold Studio created the animated videos.