Report Launch: The Case for Sustainable Funding for Women's Centres

Together with the Women’s Budget Group and four partner specialist providers of Women’s Centres (The Nelson Trust, Together Women, Anawim and Brighton Women’s Centre) we have published a new report entitled “The Case for Sustainable Funding for Women’s Centres”.

The report outlines the urgent need for a new model of funding for vital community-based Women’s Centres that provide support to women affected by the criminal justice system. It demonstrates how piecemeal and siloed funding structures are jeopardising the future of these holistic and gender-specific community services to women, which save £2.84 for every £1 spent.

We are calling on central Government to use the upcoming Spending Review to introduce a New Deal for Women’s Centres which should:

  • Provide core funding from central Government with a system of matched funding granted from a local consortium of commissioners
  • Provide mandatory commissioning guidance to local commissioners to ensure a network of appropriate services is available nationwide

Commenting on the report, our Chief Executive Dr Kate Paradine said:

“It’s been widely acknowledged that community support is best placed to address the root causes of why women are sent to prison in the first place, helping with issues ranging from mental health, to debt, domestic abuse, and parenting. But now Women’s Centres across the country lack the certainty that they can keep their doors open and support the women most exposed to the consequences of the pandemic. When the socio-economic effects of coronavirus start to bite, it is community services like Women’s Centres that help weather the storm.

We urge the Government to use the upcoming Spending Review to safeguard the future of these vital community services across the country by offering a new deal for funding their core services, and deliver their commitment to radically reduce the number of women in prison.”