Minister visits Trust to announce the winners of the Tampon Tax Fund grants The National Stalking Helpline has been singled out for praise from the Government, with a grant of £200,000 to develop its services over the next two years. Parliamentary Under-secretary within the Department of Culture Media and Sport, Rob Wilson MP visited the Suzy Lamplugh Trust's offices on Thursday 30th March to meet the helpline team and announce details of the 70 organisations that will benefit to the tune of thousands of pounds from the Government's Tampon Tax Fund. He was joined by Tricia Bernal, whose daughter Clare was shot dead by a store security guard who had been stalking her after she ended a three-week relationship with him. Tricia, who was herself the victim of a stalker a decade before Clare was murdered, now talks to groups around the country about the dangers of stalking. The Minister for Civil Society heard how the cash windfall will be used by Suzy Lamplugh Trust to improve on the successes achieved by the National Stalking Helpline since it was launched in 2010. Projects in the pipeline include plans to develop the advocacy arm of the helpline so that staff can intensively work with 290 victims over the next two years; providing specialist support through the criminal justice system in a way they would not receive otherwise – an ambitious increase of 40 per cent over the number helped in the 12 months to April – to put an end to their stalkers' campaigns of abuse. Helpline experts were able to help 86 victims who were getting nowhere with cases and finding police support wanting in the past year. The Trust also has plans to create the first forum for frontline victim-facing agencies who come into contact with the issue of stalking, including police, probation officers, lawyers, health workers, social services, housing officers and the voluntary sector, including domestic violence support agencies. The Tampon Tax Fund award follows a successful bid from the Trust in December. The money is part of a £15million pot generated from the five per cent tax levied as VAT on tampons every year in the UK. The Government pledged to spend the money on women's health and support charities after more than 300,000 people signed a petition calling for the tax to be scrapped. Other groups to benefit from the Tampon Tax Fund include a peer-mentoring scheme for vulnerable girls in the North East; a centre for the survivors of sexual abuse based in Cornwall and a specialist support service for victims of stalking in the Midlands. Suzy Lamplugh Trust Chief Executive Rachel Griffin said: "We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this grant, which will make an enormous difference to the work that we do and the lives of scores of extra people we will be able to help as a result. "Sadly we just don't have the funds to be able to help all of the people who contact our helpline, so this grant will really help. "All too often the obsessive behaviour associated with stalking is not spotted by the people who are the first point of contact when victims report the crime. We know from callers that police often treat each incident of stalking behaviour as an individual crime rather than spotting the telltale signs of stalking behaviour. This behaviour then typically escalates. "It is not true to say every stalker has mental health problems, but if they are identified as stalkers there is help available to stop them abusing their victims." Speaking after his visit to the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Rob Wilson said: "From Cornwall to Dundee, the Tampon Tax Fund continues to benefit organisations in every corner of the UK working to improve the lives of disadvantaged women and girls, including those who’ve been affected by violence. "This Fund is helping to improve lives, supporting our ambition to create a fairer, shared society for everyone. I’m glad that so many worthwhile organisations will benefit from this money."