Govanhill Baths Community Trust (GBCT) has become the first registered NHS Free Condoms Venue in Glasgow’s Southside that is not run by the NHS or a registered pharmacy. As well as this measure, GBCT also provides free sanitary products for women who attend Govanhill Baths for wellbeing classes and community groups.
GBCT General Manager Fatima Uygun said:
“No one should have to worry about accessing free condoms or lubricant to improve sexual health or worry about access to sanitary products due to financial constraints. As Govanhill Baths aspires to be a Health and Wellbeing Centre for people living in the Southside, We feel that offering these products from our Baths is a practical step forward for one of the most deprived communities – tackling sexual health issues and period poverty as well as demonstrating the commitment of Govanhill Baths to move forward with being a more accessible venue for Health and Wellbeing matters.”
From this week Govanhill Baths will have a wide range of Male and Female Condoms and lubricant. The Baths has also been providing free sanitary towels since the start of November. This has been welcomed by many local Period Poverty campaigners.
Local MP Alison Thewliss added:
“I am delighted that Govanhill Baths Community Trust (GBCT) will be offering free sanitary products to all women who take part in any one of the number of classes that they organise; from yoga to cookery. This move underlines GBCT’s commitment to help tackle period poverty in Govanhill and other areas of Glasgow.
“It is estimated that the UK Treasury generates around £15 million from VAT on ladies sanitary products. Tampons are not a luxury item – they are a basic requirement for women and should not be subject to tax.”
Free sanitary products and a wide range of free condoms, including female condoms, can be found in all GBCT toilets. Information on different sexual health services is also available at GBCT reception for anyone who is concerned about their sexual health. For anyone suffering from period poverty, we can provide information on food banks who also supply free sanitary products to those who use their services.
pic by Mhairi Muir