FUNDED by a ‘Tampon Tax Fund’ grant from DCMS, the Labyrinth Project was led by Solace Women’s Aid in partnership with eight women’s organisations in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland and five training partners. Its overall purpose was to respond to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on women and women’s organisations by building capacity, stronger networks of support and shared learning across the women’s sector locally and nationally.
Labyrinth’s three main strands of work were:
- Local Capacity Building through ‘Navigators’ hosted by local women’s organisations in London, Hampshire, Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester, Glasgow, and Northern Ireland, supported by training and consultancy from specialist training partners.
- The Empowering Women Fund, a grants scheme providing both small ‘seed funding’ and larger women’s sector grants to organisations led by and for women in order to build their capacity and develop sustainable ways of empowering women in their local area.
- Developing a ‘Centre for Excellence’ to pilot a range of approaches to networking and sharing learning across the women’s sector – including a website of information and resources
Despite being operational for only 18 months and working within the context of Covid-19, Labyrinth succeeded in exceeding all its original delivery targets:
- 33,889 women engaged through the project (original target 20,000)
- 10,166 women supported with legal support (original target 1,310)
- 356 women support through employment programme (original target 77)
- 848 women supported with an economic issue (original target 74)
- 310 women volunteering (original target 68)
- 992 women attending training (original target 161)
- 463 group work sessions delivered (original target 150)
One beneficiary of the project in Scotland states ‘The Labyrinth sessions was brilliant and the women really bonded… We are a small, local project and being able to tap into knowledge and networks really expanded things for us and also directly for the women in that group’.
The full evaluation report is now available to view on the Centre for Excellence here.