FEMALES can feel more supported as a result of tampon tax funding that has become available.

Community groups are now able to apply for grants between £5,000 to £10,000 through the Tampon Tax Community Fund at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF), which aims to support marginalised women and girls.

Projects that hope to build skills, confidence and self-esteem or that make a long-term difference to health and well-being are eligible for the funding.

Other groups welcomed by the new scheme include those that connect women to others to promote shared experiences and to build social networks.

Grant Cornwell MBE, Chief Executive at HIWCF said: “We are delighted to be distributing the Tampon Tax Community Fund once again, directing funds generated from the VAT on sanitary products towards projects that improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls across our region.

"HIWCF has an in-depth understanding of need in our local area, and we are passionate about supporting the smaller, locally rooted organisations working directly with women and girls, to help make a big difference to their lives.”

One group Portsmouth Abuse & Rape Counselling Service (PARCS) received a £10,000 grant under a previous round of Tampon Tax funding and extended their group sessions for women who have experienced sexual abuse.

Centre Director for PARCS Kim Hosier said: “Many women accessing our groups experience misplaced feelings of guilt and shame alongside ill-health and most have little contact with other survivors leaving them feeling completely alone. Our grant enabled us to extend group sessions for those who have experienced sexual abuse to build their confidence, access mutual support and learn from each other. The women report back that being in a room full of those who share a similar experience was one of the most powerful aspects of their experiences with PARCS.”

To apply for Tampon Tax Community Fund grants, visit www.hiwcf.com/funds/tampon-tax-community/.

Applications close on October 11.