TWO Wiltshire charities have been collectively awarded more than £13,000, to help their work improving the lives of women.

The Tampon Tax fund is the money raised through the levy on sanitary products, and awarded by the Wiltshire Community Foundation, has granted funds to charities striving to help women tackle issues including mental health, homelessness, family problems and education.

£7,300 was awarded to God Unlimited Outdoor Therapy (Gul), who provide therapy and community activities in an outdoor setting.

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Director of Gul, James Dwyer, said the grant will be a “tremendous help” as the charity has seen an “increasing need for its services”.

He added: “In the last 18 months, Gul has seen a rise in the number of young women referred to the charity, particularly from our partners at Youth Action Wiltshire and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

“Gul provides supported volunteering to these women and others like them offering them a chance to take part in a slow-paced activity in a safe non-judgemental environment.”

Secondly £6,500 was granted to Home-Start South Wiltshire, and both charities will be using funds to encourage more volunteers to get involved with projects and services, as well as offering more training opportunities.

Home-Start South Wiltshire provides voluntary support for families who are caring for children with minimal support, or for those dealing with mental health problems.

“The volunteers are trained to look for particular problems and because they are from the area they know where they can get them help. They are there to offer one-to-one support and be a friend,” explained Prue Castle, co-chairman of Home-Start South Wiltshire.

She added: “Being isolated can lead to depression and anxiety.

"By having the support of someone they trust they can learn to cope better and get the confidence to make friends. This is turn benefits the whole family.”

Wiltshire Community Foundation chief executive Rosemary Macdonald said the team are “delighted” to support the two selected charities, adding: “Each one of these projects will make a real difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”