A woman from Aylesbury has won a cash innovation award by Innovate UK among seven other women entrepreneurs from South East England.

The award - announced on International Women’s Day on March 8 - recognised the game-changing innovations addressing acute challenges in society today.

Claire Barnett, the head of UN Women UK, received the £50,000 cash injection and tailored mentoring and coaching support from Innovate UK to help winners scale up and bring out new, disruptive products and services.

She said: "A year on from when women took to the streets demanding an end to sexual harassment, not enough has changed to really prevent violence.

“It's now more urgent than ever that we create blueprints for safe, inclusive public spaces and immersive technology can play a key role in this.”

READ MORE: Police continue search for man who absconded HMP Springhill

Her work tackles and changes behaviour through immersive training, where people can learn to prevent violence against women, girls and marginalised people in a mixed virtual reality experience, preparing them to face these challenges in real life.

“So you can actually practise conversations, behaviours and interventions in your own school, workplace or local area.

“This technology is already being used in fields like helping surgeons, firefighters and incarcerated people practise different behaviours safely, in what would otherwise be a very dangerous environment if it was recreated in real life.”

The technology has potential to end the violence and sexual harassment that over seven in ten women across the UK have to deal with, she said.

The UN Women UK, part of United Nations Women, is a charity with a small team, and like other small charities, they struggle with capacity and have to be strategic about their approach.

READ MORE: Chesham mother's fundraiser helps disabled orphans

Ms Barnett said: “The Women in Innovation Award will help me build the pilot for this technology from the ground up, so it's going to unlock that scale.

“My favourite part of my role is all the engagement we do with our community.

“Whether that's running workshops for women and girls to help design their own safer spaces, or bringing 1,000 women to the first online UN Commission on the Status of Women, being able to create opportunities for people to really have their voices heard and shape the world they want to live in, is really exciting.”