A CAMPAIGN group which called on its followers to hold Scottish Borders Council to account over a lack of free period products has hailed a breakthrough.

Endo South of Scotland (SOS) supports women with endometriosis, a disease in which tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows in other parts of the body.

The organisation claimed the council had broken a pledge to provide free of charge period products in a wide enough range of community buildings – as stipulated in the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act 2021.

The Act says that these products should be “made available reasonably easily without complexity and bureaucracy” – something which Endo SOS claimed was not the case in the Borders.

Additionally, councils across Scotland place their period product locations on the convenient-to-use PickupMyPeriod app.

It was found that Scottish Borders Council was the only local authority in the country not using it.

A spokesperson for Endo SOS said: “We found this inexcusable. Our members, [who] often suffer heavy bleeding and can need products at short notice due to endometriosis and other associated menstrual conditions, are made to feel like second class citizens who are being ignored by the local council and feel further excluded by a system that is meant to eradicate period poverty.”

But after the support group urged its members and supporters to hold the council “to account”, the local authority responded, with both a clarification on the availability of free period products across the Borders and with a pledge to use the PickupMyPeriod app in future.

An Endo SOS spokesperson said: “We’re thrilled to announce that the Scottish Borders Council has finally provided an update regarding free period products in the area.

“Although it took them over a year to post the announcement on their website, we’re grateful for the support of our followers and MSPs in bringing this initiative to fruition.

“We have encouraged them to use the PickupMyPeriod app, as other Scottish councils have done. Not only will this make it easier for people to access period products, in particular during closed times of council buildings, but it will also allow Scottish Borders Council to provide a better service to those in need. The Dumfries and Galloway council offer a postage service for period products, and we’ve recommended the Borders council to follow suit.”

A spokesperson for Scottish Borders Council said: “Free period products including sanitary pads, tampons, reusable cups and pants are available at a range of venues across the Borders.

“This includes all council-operated buildings e.g. contact centres and offices, Live Borders sites e.g. leisure centres, libraries and community centres, primary and secondary schools (for pupils and staff), local food banks and homelessness accommodation settings.

“We’re currently in the process of ensuring this information is available on the PickupMyPeriod app but in the meantime, details are provided on the council’s website at: www.scotborders.gov.uk/freeperiodproducts.”