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Orkney Ferries’ come on board with free sanitary products

Rosalind Aitken and Andrew Blake launch the expansion of the free sanitory product scheme to include availability on board Orkney Ferries vessels.

Free sanitary products are now available on board a number of Orkney Ferries vessels as the scheme is expanded in the county.

In August 2018, the Scottish Government made funding available to supply free of charge products in schools, colleges and universities.

This was extended in the county last year to include community centres, libraries, the new hospital and from a range of voluntary sector organisations.

Thanks to community planning and partnership between OIC, Voluntary Action Orkney, Orkney Ferries and the Enhancing Well-being in Our Island Communities co-ordinators, the scheme has been rolled out further to include the county’s inter-island ferries which operate between Orkney’s mainland and 13 island destinations.

Orkney Ferries manager Andrew Blake said: “We transport some 300,000 people a year so if we can provide some kind of assistance to any of those by carrying these free products then we will.

“I am well aware of ‘period poverty’ out there. It is a fact of life sadly, but this initiative will go a significant way to help and we are delighted to be part of it.”

The products are available from within toilet facilities on board several ferries, including those serving Hoy and Shapinsay, and the North Isles vessels and the ferry serving Rousay will have them within the coming weeks. It is hoped that all ferries will be stocked in the near future.