Women and girls projects share in £3.4 million of national funding.

16th January 2019

Almost 500 of Cumbria’s most vulnerable women and girls will benefit from charitable funding through projects focusing on those at risk of crisis.

Three community groups have received grants of between £5,000 – £10,000 from the Tampon Tax Community Fund, administered by Cumbria Community Foundation, to work with women of all ages, focussing on preventative services.

Charities to receive funding include Springfield Domestic Abuse Support in Kendal, Gateway 4 Women in Carlisle and Women’s Community Matters in Barrow.

Springfield Domestic Abuse Support will carry out one to one support and counselling to help 100 women build their skills and confidence and improve health and wellbeing. The grant will allow the charity to improve current support on offer, providing more appointments and reducing the waiting list. Women have sometimes had to wait up to 3 weeks for an initial meeting, with another member of staff available women will been seen within a week.

Angela Speak, Project Lead Community Support Service/Deputy Springfield Service Manager, said: “Demand for our support has more than doubled in the past year and we will be using the funding to provide an additional staff member on a part time contract for 12 months. This will make a huge difference to our service and reduce the current pressure on our service and waiting times for appointments.”

Women’s Community Matters will employ two part-time Project Assistants who will work alongside the Project Manager and other staff to support the delivery of a range of additional activities for young women to build their skills, confidence and improve health and wellbeing.

Many women travel to the centre in Barrow from Ulverston, Millom, Askam and Grange and this project will support around 300 different women over a 6 month period, helping to improve their own mental health and wellbeing by accessing a range of opportunities for social connection and learning.

A delighted Rebecca Rawlings, Senior Officer at Women’s Community Matters, said: “We are really grateful for this opportunity to support women with their mental health and wellbeing. We have developed the idea alongside women who access the centre and we are all looking forward to developing more opportunities for women and girls in the community.”

Gateway 4 Women will use the money to run the Pause for Thought project, which will build the confidence and self-worth of young women through activities and discussions. It will provide opportunity to connect with other young women who have similar experiences as a process to recovery, sharing their stories as part of the group process.

Jennifer Campbell, Chief Executive, said: “Building on the popularity and success of our existing course programme: ‘Beautiful Woman, Beautiful Me’, we will be introducing a similar personal development course ‘Pause for Thought’ tailored for young women aged 14-19.”

Ellen Clements, Senior Grants and Donor Services Officer at Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We are aware that there is a high number of women who face multiple disadvantages in Cumbria. I welcome the chance to use the Tampon Tax proceeds to help change the lives of these women. The grants will make a big difference to the projects funded, enabling women in Cumbria to build their confidence and self-worth.”