Reflecting back, powering forward...

This was the title of our most recent Network for Black Women Leaders event and these words feel like the most apt call to action for 2021.

Thank you to Dionne and the Network leaders for these words.

We all know that this year has been a painful and unimaginably challenging one for many.

Though through the loss and hardship, we are inspired by the women holding up their communities, we are motivated by the unwavering support and care that women's charities and organisations provide, and we remain steadfast in our mission to stand up for all women.

Thank you to all of our supporters this year, whether you made a donation, joined our membership or gave us a shout out on Twitter, your support is invaluable. 

Women’s voluntary and community organisations are a cornerstone for sustainable and stable communities, and are crucial to the advancement of equality and women’s rights.

Like many organisations, we have adapted to continue our work. Here are some of our achievements from this year...

  • Ensured women's voluntary and community organisations have the necessary skills and information to sustain and develop their organisations and services through delivering online training sessions and events, providing fundraising coaching sessions and regularly updating our network on funding and other opportunities; through our Civil Society Roots Project (Big Lottery) that is working to strengthen our support to London members through capacity building.
  • Enabled partnership working between women's organisations through continuing our co-ordination of the London VAWG Consortium and the Support Services strand of the Ascent project; through the Financial Hardship of Black African Asylum Seeking Women project funded by Smallwood Trust, this partnership works on a twin-track approach that improves individual and collective skills joining the dots of financial ‘exclusion’ through policy and communications activities in order to bring into focus the financial hardship of Black African and asylum seeking women together with underfunded women organisations.
  • Influenced funders and decision-makers to ensure that the women's sector have fair access to sustainable funding through our Pay Back the Tampon Tax  campaign which saw results including a change in application criteria to "particularly, but not exclusively, welcome applications from women's specialist charities and organisations whose projects include making onward grants to women's specialist charities" and subsequently a marked improvement in the number of grants made to women’s health and support charities in the 2020-21 allocation of the fund. We have also been working collaboratively with London Funders to ensure that women have a seat a the table in their COVID-19 response and that funding is reaching women's organisations.
  • Provided voice and leadership for the women's sector through our hugely popular Feminist Leadership programme, funded this year by Rosa Fund for Women and Girls; through the launch of the Network for Black women leaders; through being non-issue based and having a bird’s-eye view of the current state of women’s equality; through building capacity in the sector through our projects and by sharing information, and by campaigning and influencing decision-makers
  • Gathered evidence to make a robust case for the sustainability of the women's sector through our sector-wide and nation-wide survey into the effect of Covid-19 on the UK women's sector.

Have a restful break and we will see you in 2021. We are back in the office from Monday 4th January.

In Solidarity,

The WRC Team