Our work helping vulnerable women in the criminal justice system has received a welcome boost thanks to a successful application to the Government’s Tampon Tax Fund (announced 26 March).
St Giles Trust is one of just 10 recipients out of the 195 applications made to the fund. The grant will expand and develop our existing work in this area. This includes the Footsteps Project in London helping women prison leavers who have high support needs and our work with women through our services in Yorkshire and Norfolk.
13% of the 24,432 people helped by us last year were female and figures from the first half of this year indicate this percentage is growing. Women facing severe disadvantage – those in the criminal justice system in particular – often have unmet and additional needs given their role as mothers and carers. The lack of affordable housing and ongoing cuts to public services such as those addressing mental health needs and domestic abuse have removed the traditional safety nets that many vulnerable women previously relied on.
St Giles Trust’s services offer ongoing and intensive support to help the women resettle and stabilise their lives. Many of the women have undiagnosed hidden disabilities around issues such as autism. We can help the women access the specialist support and services they need.
Nicky Park, Head of Prisons and Women’s Lead at St Giles Trust, said: “We are thrilled at this much-needed support for this area of our work. St Giles Trust has a long and proud history offering services and support specifically aimed at vulnerable women. This grant will help us reach women who are most in need of help and often trapped in a cycle of poverty, homelessness and offending. With the patient, persistent support offered by our teams, we are confident we can help them progress their lives.”