Essex Community Foundation

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Funding boost for projects supporting women and girls

14th January 2020

Colchester & Tendring Youth Enquiry Service and HARP in Southend are among 11 local voluntary organisations to receive grants totalling £88,236.

The funds have been awarded from the Tampon Tax Community Fund which was set up by the Government with money raised through the levy on sanitary products.  The Fund is managed locally by the independent charitable trust Essex Community Foundation (ECF).

This is the second round of grants awarded from the Fund in Essex to support the work of voluntary organisations that are helping women and girls experiencing issues including domestic abuse and mental health.  Supported projects aim to help develop skills and confidence, improve wellbeing or build social networks.

Jane Blomeley, CEO of Colchester & Tendring Youth Enquiry Service, said “We were delighted to receive £8,800 which will enable us to employ staff to work with young women in Tendring that are pregnant or are first time mums.

“It can be an incredibly daunting time for these young women and they may feel overwhelmed and alone.  By building relationships with them, we can support them with issues including health in pregnancy, debt, domestic abuse and social isolation.”

Dina Jobson, Fundraising Manager of Homeless Action Resource Project (HARP), said: “Women experiencing homelessness are very vulnerable and they often have complex needs.  Our grant of £10,000 will enable us to employ a female support worker to work with women staying at our hostel in Southend and help them to rebuild their lives in a safe and supportive environment.”

Also receiving grants are:

  • African Families in the UK: £7,000 to provide skill-building and confidence workshops for women that are BAME in Colchester.
  • CARA Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse: £8,621 for a charity that counsel's women and girls in Colchester and Clacton who have been affected by sexual abuse.
  • English for Women: £8,550 to help women who do not have English as their first language to integrate into their communities, in Chelmsford and Harwich.
  • Lighthouse Family Trust: £5,000 for the running costs of a charity that supports women who have been affected by pregnancy loss in mid-Essex.
  • Next Chapter: £8,100 to run support programmes for women affected by domestic abuse in North Essex.
  • Open Road: £7,748 to provide a support programme to women leaving prison and probation across the county, helping them to readjust and restart their lives.
  • Pregnancy Expectations Trauma and Loss Society (Petals): £6,967 to provide counselling for women affected by pregnancy loss in Harlow.
  • SOS Rape Crisis: £7,450 towards a counselling service for women affected by sexual violence in South Essex.
  • Southend Vineyard: £10,000 for the salary of an outreach worker to help women exit the sex industry.

Susannah Owen, English for Women’s project coordinator, said: “Since 2015, I have seen English for Women help so many women improve their English and forge invaluable friendships in our community sessions.
“Isolation as a result of language barriers, often creates insurmountable obstacles to negotiating every-day life.  But just as important is learning about local life, culture and gaining knowledge about the local area.  Having the ability to have simple, yet important conversations with their children’s teachers and doctors is hugely empowering.  Everyone should be able to participate in their community and access local services without the worry of not being understood.

“Our fantastic team of volunteers provide the opportunity to talk, listen and be supported so learners can improve their English skills, gain confidence to use those skills and be part of their community through work, volunteering or further study.  English for Women has had a hugely positive impact on the lives of those who attend our sessions, their families and the wider community."

Caroline Taylor, chief executive of ECF, said: “This funding supports local charities that are helping women and girls to make positive choices and changes to their lives. 

“We know there is huge demand for these services and we are pleased to help local voluntary organisations working in our community, to access vital public funding which they might otherwise miss out on.”

This is the second time UK Community Foundations has been selected by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to distribute the largest share of Tampon Tax funding.  To date, a total of £6.9 million has been awarded nationally from this programme. 

For more information about ECF and how to apply for funding, call the grants team on 01245 356018.