Solace announces launch of National Women’s Centre for Excellence

A national Women’s Centre for Excellence is launching on 31st January to enable women’s centres, groups and networks, and those they support to emerge stronger from the impact of the covid-19 pandemic. 

The Centre for Excellence is an online repository that aims to contribute to a stronger, better connected and more inclusive women’s sector nationally by sharing knowledge, resources, learning and best practice. The Centre is part of the Labyrinth project, a Tampon Tax funded project contributing to system change for women by building capacity, forging stronger networks of support, and fostering shared learning locally and nationally. The project has thus far trained over 300 women, both professionals and service users, and provided funding to 41 projects.

Jane Jutsum, Solace Director says, ‘This is a challenging time for the women’s sector, as the pandemic continues to negatively affect women and has exacerbated existing inequalities with an increase in violence against women and girls, unpaid work, mental health issues, increased trauma for women on the frontlines of the pandemic and the vicarious trauma for the women who are supporting them through such difficult times. We know there is lots of innovation and resilience within the sector, and the Centre for Excellence hopes to support recovery and ensure that the women’s sector bounces back stronger.’ 

The Centre for Excellence works as a bank of knowledge for the sector and brings together practitioners who have expertise in different areas relevant to women’s lives. The online space aims to cover issues ranging from legal aid and homelessness, to sending successful funding bids. It will work as a resource to find relevant news about funding, policy and training for both professionals and individual women.

Sally Dennis, Operations Manager at Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid states, ‘The Labyrinth Project has provided an excellent opportunity to connect with a wider network and share best practice. We are excited for the next phase of knowledge-sharing and collaboration through the launch of the Centre for Excellence, which will provide a much-needed space for women sector organisations to showcase their brilliant work.’

Aliyah Dunbar-Hussain, Labyrinth Project Manager adds, ‘The Centre already includes contributions from many of our partners – Nottingham Women’s Centre, Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid, and Rights of Women. We are asking everyone who is interested in the continuous improvements within the sector to share their knowledge, so that we can all benefit from each other’s’ wisdom and experience.’

If you are an organisation supporting women you can access the Centre for Excellence

About the Labyrinth Project

The Labyrinth project aims to join up women’s outcomes across women’s centres, children’s centres and older women’s spaces, providing holistic support to women to untangle the complexities within their lives. Local capacity building, a grants scheme and Centre for Excellence will build capacity, supporting sustainability of the women’s sector for the future.

Labyrinth Partners include:

Birmingham & Solihull Women’s Aid                    



Hopscotch Asian Women’s Centre                       

Leeds Women’s Aid            

Nottingham Women’s Centre                                 

Rights of Women                 

Scottish Women’s Rights Centre              

Stop Domestic Abuse                     

Surviving Economic Abuse            

The Pankhurst Trust

Women’s Support Project               

Women’ Support Network              

Working Chance

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