Women and girls initiative

Maint yr ariannu
£150,000 - £750,000
Cyfanswm ar gael
£45 million
Terfyn amser ymgeisio
Closed to expressions of interest
What's it all about

This initiative is now closed. If you are looking for funding to work with women and girls please look at our other funding opportunities and in particular Reaching Communities or Awards for All

The women and girls initiative is a funding stream of up to £45 million, which we will invest in services for women and girls. The overarching aim of this funding is empowering women and girls to take control of their lives.

We will fund projects that can meet all four funding outcomes:

  1. Increased provision of holistic, integrated, person-centred approaches for women and girls at risk
  2. Increased involvement of women and girls in the design and delivery of the services they use.
  3. A greater number of women and girls are supported through the provision of improved specialist support
  4. Better quality of evidence for what works in empowering women and girls.

We will support projects that are ambitious and help to create capacity in organisations. Organisations can either focus on specific issues (for example, domestic and sexual violence or mental health), or run community-based services such as a women’s centre or youth group.

Only women and girls organisations were eligible to apply. We defined a women and girls organisation as:

  1. An organisation that has been established with the key aim of working with women and girls only, or
  2. The majority of beneficiaries served by the organisation are, and will continue to be, women and girls, and the vast majority of the services will reflect this.

Organisations were able to apply for between £150,000 and £750,000 over a period of 3 to 5 years. We have had a high interest in this initiative with over 500 ideas to choose from. We expect to be able to fund approximately 70 projects through this initiative, and are expecting to make awards March 2016. We will also consider making a small number of large scale investments of over £750,000. These will be for projects that are of exceptional strategic value with a clear focus on prevention, and will help bring about longer-lasting change.

Please note while the application process is ongoing the window for expressing your interest in this initiative is now closed. However if you have a project idea in this area that you wish to discuss with us you may still wish to consider applying through our Reaching Communities or Awards for All programmes, please see here for more information or alternatively contact our Big Advice Team on 0345 4 10 20 30 (text relay 18001 plus 0345 4 10 20 30 for those with a hearing impairment).


Following consultation with a range of stakeholders, we believe that the most powerful and impactful action The National Lottery Community Fund could take is to provide the Women and Girls Initiative (WGI) projects with the confidence, skills and ability to make a clear, cohesive case for gender specific services, through the work that they do and the stories of the women and girls they support.

To achieve this, in January 2018, the fund procured the WGI Impact and Learning Services contract with Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR) in partnership with DMSS Research (DMSS) and the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU).

The purpose of this Impact and Learning contract is to:

  • Enable and empower local projects to evaluate their work and then use their learning in meaningful ways
  • Identify cross-cutting findings and share these with WGI projects and across the sector so they are relevant and timely for use by different stakeholders.

TIHR and partners will support the 62 projects to record and share their learning and through this create a stronger co services that have greater influence on decision making structures across the country.

Following consultation with the projects, it was agreed a range of activities will be delivered over the lifetime of the programme:

  • One-to-one support for projects
  • An online learning hub
  • Action Learning Sets
  • Masterclasses and workshops
  • Evaluation activities
  • Regular papers/publications: blogs, reports and briefings
  • A national conference in 2020, to showcase and share project achievements and learning.

The evaluation objectives that will inform the learning and impact for WGI are:

  • Identify what more holistic/person-centred approaches for women and girls at risk looks like
  • Describe how these approaches can increase and improve specialist support
  • Understand what enables women and girls to be co-producers of services
  • Support projects to generate and use their own local evidence.