POSITIVE work to increase awareness and prevention of female genital mutilation is taking place across the Thames Valley thanks to a grant from the police commissioner.

Anthony Stansfeld awarded £120,000 of funding to several organisations in October last year to help tackle FGM across the region.

Since then a number of projects have been delivered including training sessions and advice hubs.

One recipient of funding was Oxford Against Cutting, which is using the cash to deliver a two-year programme.

It has prioritised its training for schools based on the highest number of girls who speak languages from communities which may be affected by FGM.

To date, more than 500 teachers and Year 2 pupils have attended training sessions increasing awareness and understanding of FGM.

Support was also provided to Slough Refugee Support and an advice centre at the Rose Centre in Reading.

Mr Stansfeld said: “I am pleased to be able to fund these projects. In order for FGM to be tackled, we need to be talking to and raising awareness with communities which are affected as well as with professionals who come into contact with them.

“By creating a dialogue and providing support services, I hope these projects will increase awareness of FGM and help protect those who may be at risk in the future”.

Other organisations which received funding were Refugee Resource, Somali Outreach Project and MK Dons.