£275,000 awarded to women & girls projects across the capital

By Lauren Palmer

30 local projects working with some of society’s most vulnerable women and girls have received a much-needed funding boost from the Tampon Tax Community Fund through The London Community Foundation.

A total of £274,788 has been distributed across 18 London boroughs to small charities and community groups, each receiving £5,000 - £10,000 to work with women of all ages, focussing on preventative services for those at risk of crisis.

This funding was part of a national programme which saw Community Foundations across the UK distributing £3.4 million in total from funds raised through the levy on sanitary products.

Projects awarded funding were decided by a panel of LCF staff and external women who have experience and knowledge in the women’s sector and/or small community groups. Funding will help women and girls to build skills and confidence, improve their physical and mental wellbeing and to build their social networks.

Havering Women’s Aid received £10,000 to deliver The Freedom Programme, a 10-week programme for 125 women experiencing domestic abuse to work together to recognise the controlling and abusive tactics presented by perpetrators.

Joanne Calcott, Outreach Manager said, “Havering Women's Aid identified a specific need to help victims of abuse to be able to understand a variety of behaviours that perpetrators of abuse use to manipulate and control. The funding will help our team to facilitate educational programmes/group work which will run concurrently through 2019. Our goal is to help our service users gain understanding and insight, to enable and empower, to live a life free from abuse.”

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Two Havering Women's Aid members of staff


Another organisation, Chain Reaction Theatre Company, received £8,712 to deliver Girls Support Girls (GSG) - a specially devised drama based workshop, delivered in schools, for 100 of the most vulnerable young women (aged 13 -16) from Barking & Dagenham.

 Fliss Green, Senior Strategy & Project Manager, said, “Using our tried and tested creative methods, we will empower and educate these young women on a number of key issues. From learning about contraception to negative relationships, participants will gain an in-depth understanding of these issues in a safe and supportive environment. GSG will also promote the importance of individuality; aspirations and the value of future goals; and the benefits of being open and supportive to other young women.

By providing young women with the skills and knowledge to build upon their self-esteem, social conscience, team work skills and communication skills, we are confident that GSG will help them to achieve positive, successful futures.”

Interest in this fund was overwhelming, with LCF receiving over 200 applications. Community Foundations across the whole network experienced similar scenarios and overall 1,500 applications were submitted with approximately one quarter of them being funded. The levels of interest in this fund clearly demonstrates the importance of this funding and shows the high levels of need around issues affecting women and girls. There is much more to be done to get adequate funding into this issue but investing £3.4 million across the UK is a step in the right direction.