Government awards £1.97 million to help women in the workplace

government Organisations including Birmingham Voluntary Services Council, Ashiana Community Project and Suffolk Libraries have received a share of £1.97 million from the government to support women with reproductive issues in the workplace.

Around 16 employers across England were successful in their application to this year’s Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Health and Wellbeing Fund, a joint initiative run by the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and the UK Health Security Agency.

The fund’s theme for 2022 to 2025 is women’s reproductive wellbeing in the workplace, with the financial award intended to help women to remain in or return to the workplace through and following pregnancy, fertility problems, pregnancy loss, menopause, menstrual health and gynaecological conditions.

The partnership between Birmingham Voluntary Services Council, Salus Fatigue Foundation and Disability Resource Centre stated that it will use the funding to develop a service that supports women’s hormonal health in the workplace, and unemployed women experiencing hormonal health issues to rejoin the workforce.

Ashiana Community Project applied for funding in order to tackle gender inequalities that women experiencing the menopause face in the workplace, which includes informing, educating and advocating for change, enabling timely support, challenging negative stereotypes and offering tailored interventions.

Helen Whately, Minister of State in the Department for Health and Social Care, said: “We are supporting women experiencing reproductive health issues – such as pregnancy loss or menopause – to remain in or return to the workplace through the Health and Wellbeing Fund.

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“We have already put women’s health at the top of the agenda by publishing the first ever Women’s Health Strategy for England, but there’s always more that can be done. The contribution that the VCSE sector makes towards improving health and care is invaluable, and improves the health of thousands of women.”

Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, added: “The VCSE sector makes a significant contribution towards improving health and care, and these projects will help deliver some of the important commitments set out in the Women’s Health Strategy for England.”