In partnership with The Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights, and BE Group, we are delighted to announce the launch of a new small grants programme – Spirit of Women Changemakers.

The Changemakers grants have been created as part of our Spirit of Women programme to mark and celebrate the centenary of the iconic moment in 1918 when women first won the right to vote. 

Chosen from over 400 applicants, seven organisations have received grants of £8,000-£15,000 to work in communities across the UK and challenge issues that affect women and girls. In the year running up to the centenary celebrations, they will work to improve women’s body confidence and challenge objectification, traditional gender roles and the undervaluing of care. Alongside these aims, the projects will look to change perceptions of disability and drive social cohesion.

Spirit is proud to be collaborating with Fawcett and BE Group to fund these innovative projects, which will celebrate women and empower them to change things for the better. – Debbie Lye

Debbie Lye, Chief Executive of Spirit of 2012, said: “100 years on from women getting the right to vote in general elections, women and girls in the UK still face formidable challenges. Spirit is proud to be collaborating with Fawcett and BE Group to fund these innovative projects, which will celebrate women and empower them to change things for the better.”

Sam Smethers, Fawcett Society Chief Executive, continued: “We were delighted with the quality and diversity of the many applications we received, which demonstrated the ambition in the voluntary sector to tackle the harmful norms and stereotypes that underlie gender inequality in our society. We are looking forward to working alongside these great organisations to drive real change across the country.”

The final grantees were selected by an expert panel of women with civil society and funding experience. Applications were open to a range of organisations including charities, community Interest companies and social enterprises. The funded activity will be completed by March 2018.

The successful recipients of Spirit of Women Changemaker Grants are:

Amina MWRC – My Big Beating Voice

My Big Beating Voice is a project which will see Amina MWRC (who focus on BME and Muslim women in Scotland) and Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre (ERCC) partner to develop workshops for young women to challenge perceptions of beauty and gender stereotypes and how these link to violence against women, and then explore their stories through prose, spoken word, and images, which will be brought together for an exhibition and live performances.

Blueprint 22 – Safe and Sound

Safe and Sound will see Blueprint 22 run 16 workshops, attracting 100 women, to challenge objectification and promote healthy relationships. The workshops will include a focus on working with disabled women, who research shows are at greater risk of sexual exploitation.

Disability Wales – Embolden: Spirit of Disabled Women

‘Embolden: Spirit of Disabled Women’ will challenge the objectification of disabled women by photographing and interviewing Welsh deaf and disabled women role models, producing alternative stock images, and using these materials to develop and deliver a media campaign and workshops.

Fearless Futures – Project Brave: Bodies Re-imagined And Voices Empowered

This project will support 48 secondary school girls to develop their courage, critical thinking and leadership in order to challenge normalised messages surrounding gender and disability. They will then take their learning out into their schools, collaborating on workshops to deliver to younger female peers, workshops with male peers, and a creative project to subvert preconceptions and re-imagine what is possible.

Leap Confronting Conflict – Girl Story

This project will work intensively with 12 young women who are at risk of gang activity, supporting them to develop a positive self-image, challenge objectification, make safer choices and develop healthier relationships using a trauma informed approach, one-to-one support and workshops.

Stills – ‘House | Work’

House | Work is a new partnership project between Stills and Edinburgh Art Festival to explore themes of gendered perception within caring roles and the undervaluing of unpaid care. Through a programme of creative activity, in response to a new exhibition at Stills by artist Kate Davis, community groups in Edinburgh will create work in a series of workshops that will be showcased in an exhibition raising awareness of these themes.

The Runnymede Trust – Basketball Inspiration Programme

Working in partnership with the Lewisham Thunder women’s basketball team, Runnymede will challenge objectification through sport, introducing disabled and non-disabled sportswomen role models into schools, and use basketball as a hook to bring girls into a series of personal development workshops on objectification and body confidence.

Further information:

The Fawcett Society