More than 400 local projects across the uk working with some of society’s most vulnerable women and girls have received a much-needed funding boost from their local community foundation. in oxfordshire, four local charities have received over £31k to give girls and young women mental health counselling, empower them to overcome the trauma of sexual violence, and support isolated mothers.
Small charities and community groups across the UK have received grants of between £5,000 and £10,000 from the Tampon Tax Community Fund to provide services for women of all ages and backgrounds facing issues such as period poverty, domestic and sexual abuse, mental health and long-term unemployment to build their skills, confidence and self-esteem.
As one of the UK’s largest grant-giving organisations, UK Community Foundations (UKCF) was asked by government to distribute the largest share of the funding raised through the levy on sanitary products in 2017/18 to small, local projects, working with its network of community foundations across the country.
Locally, Oxfordshire Community Foundation awarded four grants to the following organisations:
• Henley-based Riverside Counselling Service were given £9,700 to provide counselling for girls and women aged 12–20 who are experiencing mental health problems as a result of family and relationship difficulties; self-esteem, depression or anxiety; self-harm; worries about body image or more complex mental health needs.
• Oxford Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Centre received £9,500 to recruit, train and support volunteer counsellors to work with survivors of sexual violence experienced at any point in their lives, helping them to understand and process their trauma.
• Children’s charity Fegans are using their grant of £5,000 to run a female-only parenting programme that encourages healthy relationships, builds self-confidence and improves outcomes for women and their children affected by domestic violence and maternal mental health problems.
• Home-Start Oxford will use £9,935 from the fund for a Family Support Worker to help mothers who have increasingly complex needs, including poor housing, poverty, domestic abuse and extreme isolation – visiting each mum weekly for up to three hours and providing ongoing liaison between statutory services.
UKCF Director of Programmes and Development Vicki Papworth said: “Community Foundations work with grassroots groups who are running vital local services on a shoestring. This funding will enable them to run some amazing projects that make difference on the ground to the women and girls who need it most.”
There are 418 projects being funded across the UK, ranging from supplying period products to girls in Grimsby to supporting young female carers in Redcar take on new challenges and build their confidence, skills and motivation. Other community foundations have funded projects such as employment and skills classes for Nepali women in Farnborough, and encouraging disadvantaged girls in Belfast to take up a career in computer science and technology.
Community foundations were oversubscribed in all areas for the Tampon Tax Community Fund. Only a quarter of the 1,500 applications for vital women and girls projects could be supported from this stream of funding.
Community foundations are independent charities that make grants to support grassroots groups. They work with local businesses, funders and government to create tailored programmes of grant-making that respond to the needs and assets of communities. They also distribute funding secured through national programmes, including the Tampon Tax Community Fund.