Washroom Solutions and Sanitary Products framework goes live
New contract will boost drive to end period poverty
Our new washroom solutions and sanitary products framework has gone live and will boost Scotland’s drive to end period poverty, by helping councils source sanitary protection for school pupils.
The framework underpins the recent Scottish Government pledge to make sanitary products free to all girls in school. The Government’s £5.2m commitment this summer to cover the cost of sanitary products for pupils was a global first.
The new framework supports the move, by giving Scotland’s councils quick and easy access to a range of suppliers, who they can source sanitary products from, and who are ready to do business.
The four year contract for washroom solutions and sanitary products went live on 1 October, with a social enterprise that was set up specifically to tackle period poverty, forming part of the supplier list.
Councillor John Shaw, our Convener said: “I welcome the launch of this framework. It will help councils source a wide range of washroom services and products including sanitary protection for school pupils.
“This follows the recent Scottish Government announcement to end period poverty by ensuring no girl at school has to face indignity and go without sanitary products because they struggle with affordability issues. The government’s pledge to make these free for pupils is extremely positive and I am pleased that this Scotland Excel framework will help councils to source these essential products.”
According to women’s rights charity Plan International UK, one in ten girls are unable to afford sanitary products.
Six suppliers, including four small Scottish companies have been awarded a place on the framework and now have the chance to secure business through the framework. This includes Hey Girls, an East Lothian-based social enterprise that was set up in January this year specifically to tackle period poverty.
Hey Girls donates a free pack of environmentally friendly sanitary products to groups that need it (like women’s groups and food banks) with every pack purchased. It also works with supported business Haven who assists by quality-checking the products and distributing the donations.
Celia Hodson, Founder of Hey Girls, said: “We are delighted that Scotland Excel has named Hey Girls as a supplier on the Scotland Excel framework. Including a Scottish social enterprise company such as ours to work alongside for profit or private limited companies in delivering this significant public sector contract marks a real step change in procurement frameworks, where social impact is equally valued alongside scale.
“We are a social enterprise ‘through and through’ and actively seek out like-minded, values driven organisations to work with - from where we source our products, to our supply chain, and the way we run our social business.
“We’re also really proud of our high quality, environmentally friendly products. We don’t believe that girls or young women should have to compromise on the quality of sanitary products just because they’re being provided free of charge – we believe in quality, and period equality, for all”.
The framework will help councils buy a range of products and services including disposal of nappy, sanitary, sharps and medical waste, and the provision of sanitary products and sanitisers.
It also includes an approach to community benefits that will see councils reach annual spend thresholds with a supplier they will gain community benefit ‘points’ and will then engage that supplier about what benefits will be delivered within the area.