One of the funded groups, People First Dorset received £6,000 towards the Speak Up project launch to support women and girls with learning disabilities in the Weymouth and Portland area. The project will help build skills and confidence by focussing on specific issues that affect women with learning disabilities such as health concerns. Research from NHS England (2017) suggests that females with learning disabilities have an 18-year lower life expectancy than females in the general population, which may be due to lower uptake of health screening such as cervical smears and mammograms.
Laura Kerr from People First Dorset said: ’Our female members were thrilled to hear that we can work together to establish a much-needed Women’s Speak Up Group. It will not only help develop their confidence and communication skills, but in particular to support participants address specific issues which affect women who have a learning disability.’
Ellie Maguire, Grants Manager at Dorset Community Foundation added: ‘We are very pleased to have supported a number of women and girls’ projects all across Dorset as part of the Tampon Tax Community Fund. However, the grants panel found the decision making extremely difficult due to the fact that this funding round was extremely oversubscribed with £223,000 worth of funding requests, over six times the funding we had available. This clearly shows a local need for such projects.’
The Tampon Tax Fund is one of the number of funds Dorset Community Foundation manages on behalf of central government, local government, local individuals, charitable trusts and companies.