Creating long-lasting change for women and girls across Scotland
11 January 2023
Photo by Tim Marshall from Unsplash
“You are never more than 50 miles away from a project funded by us”. This is the message that Women’s Fund for Scotland (WFS) has for women across Scotland. For two decades, it has been supporting women through direct financial support to hundreds of women-led organisations throughout the country.
The projects that WFS supports all point towards its vision of a Scotland where women and girls are safe, healthy, and respected, and can participate equally across all layers of society. To date, it has been able to invest GBP 3 million in over 640 groups around Scotland, supporting almost 43,000 women and girls in the process. Projects that WFS funds include those that support women and girls to: build skills and confidence; improve health and wellbeing; move on from abuse; grow social connections; develop leadership and innovation; and find ways to combat poverty and build financial resilience.
The true footprint that WFS that has had on women-led organisations is outlined in its recently published Impact Report 2022, which highlights many examples of how support from the fund has helped women from all walks of life in Scotland.
One of the projects it has helped to support is the “Followitapp”, a long-term digital resource for women being stalked, accessible through the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre. The app enables women who are victims of stalking to securely log incident details either for their own personal record, to empower them in relation to the crime, or to assist police to gather evidence.
“When the app didn’t exist, I wrote things down. I would get to the stage where I didn’t want to write it down anymore. I didn’t want it lying about my house. It was just a constant reminder of my stalker. I just wanted to forget about it all.” said one user of the app. “In the App, the time and date are already there for you, and it’s a lot quicker. You don’t need to fill in all the information there and then. I filled the rest in when I got to a safe place.”
Another project it has supported is The Libertie Project. Based in Inverness-shire in the Scottish Highlands and Outer Hebrides, it uses traditional arts and crafts activities as a therapeutic medium to improve health and wellbeing, develop pre-employability skills and reduce reoffending in the Highlands.
“We’re not just helping women directly, but also their children and families, and also women offenders,” says Liberty Bligh, founder of The Libertie Project. “The future for the project is bright. We will continue to do ground-breaking and pioneering work with women, women offenders, and their families. We will continue to show how creative workshops within the criminal justice system is a fantastic approach.”
Sue Robertson, Chair of the Women’s Fund for Scotland, says “Our impact report provides the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the important work that The Women’s Fund for Scotland supports. In Scotland, more than 42,000 girls and women have benefited from our funding. This is something we are extremely proud of and hope to build upon in the coming years.”
You find the full Impact Report from WFS by clicking here.
This grant falls under Oak’s Issues Affecting Women programme (IAWP), which seeks to strengthen women’s organisations and movements, enabling them to learn from each other and work together to develop knowledge and skills, and to plan, organise and mobilise. You can find more about the IAWP programme by clicking here. You can also find more about Women’s Fund for Scotland and the organisations that it supports on its website by clicking here.