Free sanitary product trial commences

Councillor Sandra Duffy , Councillor Sharon Duddy with Sarah Doherty  from Centra Waterloo Place in Derry.
Councillor Sandra Duffy , Councillor Sharon Duddy with Sarah Doherty from Centra Waterloo Place in Derry.

Sinn Féin Health spokesperson, Councillor Sandra Duffy, has said that Derry is leading the way in Ireland on tackling Period Poverty.

Councillor Duffy was speaking as Derry City & Strabane District Council went live in supporting the “On the Ball” campaign.

The campaign’s main aim is to provide free sanitary products in as many sporting grounds and public buildings as possible to combat the “ever growing issue” of period poverty.

The trial resulting from the period poverty campaign will see this rolled out at the Guildhall and the council offices in both Derry city and Strabane and across other Council-owned facilities.

In keeping with the ethos of the ‘On The Ball’ campaign, the feasibility of providing free sanitary products long-term at council facilities such as the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium is also being examined.

Councillor Duffy, who has been instrumental in the promoting and developing the campaign locally, said: “It’s great to see that my motion on tackling Period Poverty which was unanimously supported backed in September of last year has been put into action ,with trials at council facilities including the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.

“Just this week we have seen another great initiative by pupils at St Marys College Derry with the introduction of free period products at the toilets in the school.

“And I have received the latest donation from the staff at Centra at Waterloo Place in the city centre towards the #EndPeriodPoverty campaign which I am very grateful for.”

She added: “In support of the campaign locally there will a themed 80’s retro disco to held on International Women’s days in 57 Waterloo Street on Friday March 8 at 10pm ,tickets £5.

“I would like to thank the guys at Transmission DJs for their support.”

Councillors unanimously backed the move that was originally proposed by Colr. Duffy at Derry City & Strabane District Council’s monthly meeting back in September 2018.

As a result of the successful motion, the Council has committed to supporting the ‘On the Ball’ drive that has already seen Celtic Football Club of Glasgow provide free sanitary products at Celtic Park.

Colr. Duffy said at the time she was pleased to see that the female fans who had led the #FreePeriod campaign had made a major breakthrough with Celtic FC agreeing to bring it in on a trial basis.

Locally following on from the vote last year. Council officers were tasked to test the feasibility of providing free sanitary products at the Guildhall, the council offices, the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium and at all Derry City & Strabane District Council sports and community based facilities.