Eleven local projects working with some of society’s most vulnerable women and girls have received a much-needed funding boost of £86,000 from Kent Community Foundation.

Small charities and community groups have received grants of £5,000 - £10,000 from the Tampon Tax Community Fund to work with women of all ages, focusing on preventative services for those at risk of crisis.

Projects receiving funding will help women and girls get into or back to work, improve health and wellbeing and develop social networks.

As one of the UK’s largest grant-giving organisations, UK Community Foundations 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.

UKCF Director of Programmes and Development Vicki Papworth said: “Community Foundations work with grassroots groups who are running vital services on a shoestring and supporting some of the most marginalised people in our society. 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.”

The projects funded through Kent Community Foundation across Kent and Medway are:

  • Health Action Charity Organisation MBE - to safeguard girls at risk of FGM by empowering communities to abandon the practice; to improve the sexual and reproductive health and mental wellbeing of women and girls affected
  • Dover Smart Project - to reduce period poverty in in the Dover area
  • Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services - to provide additional support for women victims of abuse by extending helpline services for clients who are unable to meet a volunteer Advisor for support
  • Home-Start Sittingbourne and Sheppey – volunteer training including child development, depression, domestic violence and child protection to enable families to overcome issues and difficulties
  • The Princess Project - Mum2Mum befriending service provides consistent, non-judgmental one-to-one support to young mothers (aged 16-30)
  • New Leaf Support - short courses for any one effected by domestic abuse in yoga, art, cooking and fitness in the Swale area
  • Diversity House – free access to sessions, workshops and lectures designed to build confidence and skills, improve health and well-being
  • Rising Sun Domestic Violence & Abuse Project – support for women and young girls from BME communities who have been affected by domestic abuse
  • East Kent Rape Crisis Centre – workshops to raise awareness of sexual exploitation and to empower women to find safe relationships, to recognise abusive relationships to make better choices to keep themselves safe
  • Oasis Domestic Abuse Service Ltd - specialist domestic abuse trauma counselling
  • Hope – activities such as yoga and meditation for women who are vulnerable and have experienced domestic violence, sexual abuse or financial hardship

The Tampon Tax Fund is one of the number of funds Kent Community Foundation manages on behalf of local government, local individuals, charitable trusts and businesses.

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive of Community Foundation, said: “We are delighted to have been able to support a number of small charities and community groups in Kent and Medway as part of the Tampon Tax Community Fund. They are all providing crucial local services for girls and women who are facing issues of domestic violence, homelessness, mental health and hardship. Each one of these projects will make a real difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

“Unfortunately, like Community Foundations across the country we were oversubscribed for the Tampon Tax Community Fund. Nationally, only a quarter of the 1,500 applications for vital women and girls projects could be supported from this stream of funding, highlighting the growing need for funding in this area.”

If you would like to help make positive, lasting changes in your local community, please contact josephine@kentcf.org.uk or to donate, please contact Kent Community Foundation on 01303 814 500 or visit www.kentcf.org.uk/giving

MASSIVE 'thank you ' to everyone at Kent Community Foundation. Your funding support is HUGELY appreciated and has enabled us to get into the heart of local communities with REAL, affordable, healthy and tasty food that does so much more than feed people.

Community chef Mike Spackman, Sheppey Matters

KCF's enthusiasm for what we are doing and hoping to do, coupled with helpful advice, gave us the confidence to take this daunting step which has paid off.

Liz Turner, Octopus Foundation

It's great having a foundation that empowers organisations and charities in our community to make real positive differences and changes!

Tom, MMK Mind
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