Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) is delighted to be working in partnership with UK Community Foundations (UKCF) to deliver the Tampon Tax Community Fund across Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton. UKCF has been awarded £3.4million to support women and girls in local communities, representing the largest grant awarded to any organisation from this fund. HIWCF is administering a £93,000 share of the fund across the region, to work with community groups and charities delivering projects that support women and girls to build skills and confidence, improve their health and wellbeing, and build social networks.

 The Foundation will be making grants of between £5,000 and £10,000, with applications now open until 19th October 2018.  A key focus for the Tampon Tax Community Fund will be funding preventative work to reduce the risk of crisis at different life stages. This may involve helping women and girls get back into work or training, raising awareness about health issues, or creating and developing supportive peer networks aiming to help vulnerable women feel less lonely, more valued and more able to pass on that support.

Grant Cornwell MBE, Chief Executive at HIWCF said “We are delighted to be working with UKCF to administer the Tampon Tax Community Fund across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, allocating funds generated from the VAT on sanitary products to projects that improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls in our area. HIWCF is an expert in grant making, with an in-depth understanding of need in our local area, and we are passionate about supporting the locally rooted organisations working directly with the women and girls that the fund is targeting, to help improve their day to day lives.”

Examples of the types of organisations funded include the Young Women’s Project, which encourages young women to make the transition back into education, employment or training. It’s aimed at vulnerable women between the ages of 12 and 21 who experience various difficulties including low confidence, mental health issues, homelessness and teenage pregnancy. Another is a project that delivers structured training in construction. This is aimed at women with little or no experience in the industry who face additional barriers such as caring responsibilities or financial disadvantage.

Shona Blakeley, Development Manager at Women’s Fund for Scotland who worked with UK Community Foundations on the first round of Tampon Tax funding, said: “Since receiving the Tampon Tax funding in 2016, we have been able to make a difference to the lives of 18,000 women in Scotland.  The new funding will have a much wider reach than those it seeks to support, and will also have a positive effect on families and the wider community.”

Groups can apply online for grants on the HIWCF website: http://www.hiwcf.com/funds/tampon-tax-community/

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