YSS has received £10,000 funding from the Tampon Tax fund, to support young women and girls in Herefordshire who are at risk of criminal exploitation and those who are leaving care.

Chrysalis+ will enable women and girls to think more positively about their future, improve their communication skills and their 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.

Chrysalis+, which builds on YSS’ existing Chrysalis service for women, will support women in a holistic way, also helping them to build their financial skills and resilience through difficult economic times with a focus on those who are in, or at risk of entering into, the Criminal Justice System and whose needs are often overlooked.

Catherine Kevis, CEO, YSS, said: “Some young women have to face challenges early in life and need support to develop self-care and self-help skills, connect with their peers and go on to make friends and establish their own support networks. 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.”

Philippa Spens, CEO, Herefordshire Community Foundation said: “This funding supports the groups on the ground that are making a huge difference to the lives of women and girls. We know there is huge demand out there for these services and are proud to help small organisations working in our community to access vital public funding, which they may otherwise miss out on.”

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. 49% of women in prison suffer from both anxiety and depression compared to 23% of men. Some are engaged in street sex work and significant numbers have chronic substance misuse problems.