The fight to tackle period poverty has stepped up in Dumbarton and the Vale, with moves in recent weeks aimed at helping girls and women struggling with the costs of sanitary products.

Pupils who returned to any West Dunbartonshire schools in August this year now have access to sanitary products free of charge.

It’s part of the Scottish Government’s £5.2million scheme to help “banish the scourge of period poverty” among young people.

A spokeswoman for the local authority said: “West Dunbartonshire Council is committed to supporting the Scottish Government Fare Share offer of free sanitary products to low income households.

“Free sanitary products are available in schools across West Dunbartonshire.”

And it’s not just in schools were there are changes afoot.

Asda’s Dumbarton store announced recently that it is linking up with Hey Girls, a social enterprise which provides sanitary towels for women who cannot afford to buy their own.

Working with a “buy one, give one” model, every time a customer buys a packet of the brand’s towels for themselves, they also pay for one to be donated to someone in the local area experiencing difficulties with the additional cost of living.

The brand new menstrual products are available on shelves at Asda Dumbarton, retailing at £3 for a box of 10-day-time pads, or eight night-time pads.

“Feedback from everyone who has spotted the Hey Girls products in store has been incredibly positive,” a spokesperson for Asda Dumbarton said.

Meanwhile, Clair Coyle from West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare, a charity providing food and toiletries packages to those in need in the area, said there is certainly an awareness within the local community of a need for sanitary products.

“We do get quite a lot of donations of sanitary products, and they do go out from us every week,” explained Clair.

“There’s definitely a need for them in the area. They can be quite expensive.”