A £3.4m government fund for local woman’s charities and community groups is “oversubscribed”, with only a quarter of applicants receiving funding.
The Tampon Tax Community Fund, which uses money raised through a levy on sanitary products, has been administered through the membership organisation UK Community Foundations to support over 400 local projects.
Between £5,000 and £10,000 has been given to 418 local projects to provide skill-building services for woman facing issues such as period poverty, domestic and sexual abuse, mental health and long-term unemployment.
However UK Community Foundations said the fund at was "oversubscribed in all areas”. In a statement, the organisation added: “Only a quarter of the 1,500 applications for vital women and girls projects could be supported from this stream of funding.”
UK Community Foundations made decisions by weighing up each application against a set of criteria. A spokesperson said: "Demand for funding is often greater than the money available. This makes applying for a grant a competitive process and sadly Community Foundations cannot fund all the great projects they receive applications from.
"Projects that were not successful in receiving funding should speak to their Community Foundation for feedback and to see what other options may be available. Community Foundations may be able to signpost groups to other local funds."
Despite this, Community Foundations were still able to fund projects including Bradford Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Survivors Service, which will use its £9,598 to run mindfulness courses to support female survivors of sexual violence, and The Mega Bytes Girls Only Club in Belfast, which has received £10,000 to provide computer science and technology workshops to girls from disadvantaged backgrounds.
UKCF director of programmes and development Vicki Papworth said: “Community Foundations work with grassroots groups who are running vital local services on a shoestring. This funding will enable them to run some amazing projects that make difference on the ground to the women and girls who need it most.”
The Tampon Tax Community Fund was launched in 2015. Applications to this fund opened in September 2018.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has opened applications for the next round of funding from the Tampon Tax to be awarded in the summer.