Why Women’s Centres Work: An Evidence Briefing

Why Women’s Centres Work: An Evidence Briefing

A new briefing summarising evidence about the work of Women’s Centres is now available.

A new briefing summarising evidence about the work of Women’s Centres is now available.

Why Women’s Centres Work‘ is designed to help commissioners, service providers, funders and professionals understand how Women’s Centres can play a key role in meeting the needs of women in their communities. It provides:

• a brief description of the Women’s Centre approach

• an outline of why Women’s Centres are needed and the benefits they offer

• a summary of the evidence in relation to how and why they work

• quotes from women who have received support offered by Women’s Centres

This briefing has been produced as the result of collaborative learning between Women’s Centres funded through The National Lottery Community Fund’s Women and Girls Initiative (WGI). The WGI was created by the Fund in 2016, in order to invest in services for women and girls across England. Additional support for WGI grant-holders was contracted by the Fund to be delivered by three partner organisations: Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR), DMSS Research (DMSS) and the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit (CWASU). The partners deliver the WGI Learning and Impact Services.

One of the services on offer from the WGI Learning and Impact Services brings groups of WGI projects together to work on particular issues of concern and interest to them. One such grouping has been for representatives of Women’s Centres, who met in 2018, to explore and share the value and impact of the Women’s Centre approach. ‘Why Women’s Centres Work’ was developed through conversations between the Women Centres and their facilitators, Sarah Frost and Sara Scott (both from DMSS), who also undertook further desk research. 

‘Why Women’s Centres Work’ is the third output of the Learning and Impact Services, following on from the blog titled, Have we lost the ‘we’?, written by Liz Kelly and Diving into the Women and Girls’ Initiative, which describes what the WGI is, it’s purpose, the areas of work it is supporting and some of its early achievements and challenges. 


  1. Why Women’s Centres Work: Evidence Briefing

  2. Descriptor Report

  3. Notes to Editors

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