Women's Fund for London

Poverty affecting women and their families is an urgent issue in London.

Our ambition in 2024 is to support effective community-led organisations who are on the frontline of helping disadvantaged women out of poverty, with your support we can:

  1. Fund their vital services so they can reach more women in need.
  2. Support them with £20,000 for three years to strengthen as organisations for the future.
  3. Work with them to raise awareness of the invaluable work community-led projects do and the needs of women in London.

We have raised £170,000 already towards our target of £240,000. We welcome your support before the end of March to help us realise this ambition. This target represents the first wave of funding for this important issue, which we hope to build upon.

The experiences of women in London

London is an incredible city, if you live and work here, if you’re a Londoner, you’ll know it. But it is also a city with the highest rates of poverty in the UK, a city of extreme inequality, of haves and have-nots. The cost-of-living crisis we are all experiencing is not being felt equally. Women are being especially hard hit.

There are over four million women and girls living in London. But their experiences in our city vary hugely. Dynamics related to poverty, race, culture, community, religion, and language mean their experiences and the challenges they face are layered, with many being marginalised, unable to access the same opportunities as others.

Women are being pushed further into debt and poverty. We are seeing more women in need of money for food and other essentials.
Maa Shanti, women-led community organisation in Camden

In London women are:

  • More likely to be living in poverty – they have been disproportionately hit by the rise in cost of living, especially Black and minoritised women, disabled women, older women and lone parents.
  • More likely to be in low-paid jobs – women are more than twice as likely to be in temporary work and on zero-hours contracts, worrying about unemployment and unable to make ends meet.
  • More likely to have fallen behind on bills and skipped meals – they are the ‘shock absorbers of poverty’ tending to be the provider of food for their family and manage the household budget, exposing them to constant strain and anxiety.
  • Experiencing unprecedented levels of abuse and violence – support services are reporting unprecedented levels of women coming forward to report abuse, with 96% reporting that the crisis is making the abuse worse.
Some women prefer to stay in violent environments fearing that they won't be able to support themselves and their children without a husband.
Kurdish Middle Eastern Women’s Organisation (KMEWO), women-led community organisation in Islington

Our experience of supporting women in London

Last year we awarded £845,000 to support women and girls in London. Through our Together for London programme, delivered last winter, we provided food, essential items and advice to women struggling with the cost of living. And through our Violence Against Women and Girls Grassroots Fund we provided women experiencing violence with advice, support, therapy, and refuge. We are now keen to provide longer-term support to enable women to build more secure financial futures free from poverty.

Our ambition with your support

Our ambition is to provide women in London, especially those living in poverty and those disproportionately impacted by the cost-of-living crisis, with the skills, tools, and knowledge to increase their financial resilience and that of their families.

To achieve this goal, we are proposing funding local, community organisations and services that meet the specific needs of women to enable them to find work, better quality work or earn an income through a business. In practice this could be a range of services that provide women with what they need such as debt and money advice, skills development such as English language or digital skills, employment support such as developing a CV or ways to look for work or training to gain accreditations or experience. We will provide vital funding to enable them to reach more women and strengthen themselves as organisations. We will also gather information about their services and impact to raise awareness and generate more funding for community-based organisations supporting women in London, which we believe often operate under the radar and are under resourced, despite the role they play in supporting women in our community.

An example of a community project we have supported recently:

Kundakala in Hackney provide women who experience poverty and disadvantage with a four-month sewing course. Course participants receive a sewing machine, gifted to them once they graduate; basic sewing supplies; weekly workshops in tailoring skills; paid work experience to make Kundakala products such as scarves and table linen; and coaching sessions on next steps, whether to become self-employed or find employment.

Through the course their goal is for 75% of the women to see an increase in their income and 30% to take their first steps to employment or self-employment. There programme is particularly effective because it is run locally, by women from the community, which means they can build trust with the women who participate and ensure it is accessible to those who most need it.

The benefits of supporting the Women’s Fund for London

  • You can donate at any level and contribute to the Women’s Fund for London.
  • Your donation will make a difference to women in your local community, right here in London.
  • Your donation will go a long way, small, local community projects provide excellent value for money in what they achieve with the resources they have.
  • You will have the chance to hear stories, updates and receive impact reports about the projects and what your donation has achieved.
  • You will have the chance to visit and connect with local projects helping women, right here in London.
  • You will have the chance to attend events and meet other supporters of the women’s fund and the community leaders who support women across London.
  • We can also attend your office, bringing your colleagues closer to the impact they are making.

Show your support

Recent research shows that less than 2% of grants recorded on 360 giving in 2021 went to women’s and girls’ organisations. We can’t do this alone. It is going to take a powerful, collective effort from all of us to give women the fair chance they deserve. You too, can make a difference by donating to our Women’s Fund for London to build a brighter future for women in London.

If you would like to talk to us about how you can make a difference to women’s lives in London this year, please contact laura.perkins@londoncf.org.uk.