MONEY from the 'Tampon Tax' fund will be put to use supporting women and girls at risk of criminal exploitation and who are leaving care.

Local charity YSS has received £10,000 funding, which will be used to help women and girls to think more positively about their future and improve communication skills and social networks.

They will be assigned a key worker who will help them forge connections with each other and others in their local community, helping them to form self-help groups and supportive, sustainable networks and friendships.

The charity's Chrysalis+ programme will also help them to build their financial skills and resilience through difficult economic times, with a focus on those in, or at risk of entering into, the criminal justice system, and whose needs are often overlooked.

The charity said over 53% of women in the criminal justice system have experienced abuse as children, compared to 27% of men. Far more women than men are primary carers for children, with significant consequences for the children of those who go to prison, as well as the mothers.

CEO Catherine Kevis said: “If we can help Herefordshire young women through challenging situations, such as leaving care and other difficulties during their transition to adulthood, they will have better future life chances.

"Diverting people away from negative influences and developing a positive “can do” approach can reap huge rewards, and we can do this by working together with colleagues across all sectors in Herefordshire for the benefit of young women.

"We are grateful to the Herefordshire Community Foundation and the Tampon Tax Fund for their trust in us and their support of our appeal.”