Collaborations are at the core of what WRC does. Through its unique position in the sector, WRC has been considered good at reminding the sector of their grassroots and about the ethics and morals of the work. We are committed to building a strong, thriving and diverse women’s sector.

WRC is leading the work on partnership and consortium development within the women’s sector. Working in partnership allows women’s organisations and services to support one another, sharing resources and expertise to engage more effectively with the commissioning process. Working collaboratively and collectively is feminist, good practice.

Recent years have seen reduced funding opportunities while the demand for women’s services has increased. Coupled with the shift from public sector grant giving to commissioning, this has had a very negative impact on smaller, specialist women’s services. Competitive tendering pits women’s organisations against one another and against larger, generic service providers, stretching already under-resourced organisations. It is therefore paramount that we work together.

"WRC continues to identify emerging need via our vast network of organisations. WRC continues to grow and sustain the work of partnerships, champion the work of small specialist organisations and highlight the issues which disproportionately impact women organisations and their beneficiaries"

Dionne Nelson, WRC Deputy Chief Executive

What difference does WRC make to foster a diverse and thriving women’s sector through partnership and collaborative working?

The London VAWG Consortium

WRC facilitated the development of the London VAWG Consortium and is one of its founding members. The Consortium is the first of its kind. Made up of 28 VAWG organisations in London, the Consortium delivers coordinated services to women and girls, strengthens referral pathways and encourages shared learning and best practice amongst members. It strengthens the sector and ensures the diverse needs of survivors of all forms of violence are met. This innovative partnership model has since its inception been replicated in, for example Manchester, Coventry and Bradford. The London VAWG Consortium has since 2014 secured £29.4m worth of grants and are currently undertaking 10 projects. Read more about the Consortium here.


Ascent is a partnership project undertaken by the London VAWG Consortium. As the first project that the Consortium has led, Ascent delivers a range of services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, under six themes, funded by London Councils. Ascent improves service provision for those affected by sexual and domestic violence in London through the provision of front-line services as well as support to voluntary and statutory organisations. The six themes are:

  • Advice and Counselling
  • Domestic and Sexual Violence Helplines
  • Ending Harmful Practices
  • Specialist Refuge
  • Prevention
  • Support Services to Organisations

Women’s Resource Centre is the lead partner of the Support Services to Organisations strand where we work together with 5 other organisations to address the long term sustainability needs of organisations providing services to those affected by sexual and domestic violence. Read more about Ascent here.

During 2017-2019, the whole Ascent project worked with over 60,000 women and children with a consistent satisfaction rate of over 90%. More than 60% of service users are from Black and minoritised communities with a further 14% from white, non-British communities. The Ascent project also worked with over 440 organisations that support those that have experienced violence against women and girls.

The Women’s Support and Commissioning Unit

From 2015 to 2018, WRC ran the Women’s Commissioning Support Unit, a pilot project funded by Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. The project developed the strategic and delivery capacity of the women’s voluntary sector by establishing regional partnerships of women’s organisations in Greater Manchester, the North East, Cambridgeshire and the West Midlands. By December 2017, the project had engaged with and given support to a total of 158 women’s organisations, facilitated 61 workshops, and ran 15 regional network and commissioner events.  The WCSU project generated £1,453,076 for the organisations involved in the partnership. The collaborations that were initiated through this project continue to flourish today. For example, Women's Resources Centre has recently been awarded funding from Smallwood Trust to collaborate with SAWN and other stakeholders (such as MHAPP, WAST, individual women and public service officers) to collate biographies of Black African and asylum-seeking women's experiences of financial hardship in Greater Manchester. Read more about the WSCU project here.