Starting this year, free menstrual products such as tampons and pads will be available in various civic facilities in Victoria.

The city announced Monday it is partnering with United Way Greater Victoria in its Period Promise campaign, becoming the first municipality in B.C. to join.

The products will be available at public buildings such as City Hall, Crystal Pool and downtown public washrooms.

“We know that not having access to menstrual products when you need them can be a risk to people’s health and socially isolating,” Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said in a statement.

Helps says providing menstrual products in city facilities at no cost is a small and practical decision that will make a big difference for people.

“Monthly menstruation products are a necessity, but if you’re living in poverty – or vulnerable in other ways – access to menstrual products can be challenging,” UWGV CEO Mark Breslauer says.

The idea was brought forward by Councillor Laurel Collins who says joining the Period Promise campaign shows Victoria’s leadership to ensure its facilities are safe and inclusive.

In April the province said all B.C. public schools will be required to provide free menstrual products for students in washrooms by the end of the year.