Commitment to not competing with ‘led by and for’ organisations
We respect the expertise of and need for VAWG services led by and for Black and Global Majority peers and recognise our role as a large VAWG service provider in ensuring the survival and growth of these services, especially the small grassroots services which are best connected to the communities they serve. We are committed not to bid for tenders for specific services for Black and Global Majority women or for other groups such as Deaf and disabled women and LGBT+ survivors, unless to support a ‘by and for’ service as part of a partnership or where a ‘by and for’ service does not yet exist for a community where we have been commissioned to deliver the service.
Our work so far
Existing partnerships – Solace partners with 42 organisations including ‘by and for’ organisations supporting Black and Global Majority women and disabled women. We play an active role in the London VAWG Consortium and are involved in the delivery of five services with ‘by and for’ partners. We have specific EDI actions relating to each of the partnership projects we lead and seek to work with our ‘by and for’ partners on sustainable funding for them.
Partnerships approach - We are developing a framework for future partnership working, which will cover co-production and due diligence processes. Drawing on the VAWG sector anti-racism charter, we are seeking to embed the principles of respect and truth-telling into the framework and commit to transparency around allocation of roles and budgets. Most of our current partnerships draw on the conflict resolution process set up by the London VAWG Consortium, and we will use this method in future partnerships.
Involving Black and Global Majority women’s organisations in decision making – When Solace is part of national and local strategic partnerships, forums or meetings, we will seek to challenge when there is not representation from organisations working ‘by and for’ Black and Global Majority women.
Older women - We have developed a toolkit in collaboration with Dewis Choice to raise awareness of older survivors’ experiences of VAWG and the barriers they face to accessing support, and to highlight best practice services and advocacy for this demographic. We launched the toolkit in October 2021 and we will develop an anti-ageist discrimination statement to share with others in the sector. We also recently supported Age UK London in their ’Access Denied’ Digital Inclusion campaign. (This is on website if you want a link)
Deaf, blind and disabled women
We are actively seeking funding opportunities through grants and foundations to increase the support and expertise within our existing services for Deaf and other sensory impaired survivors, and those with physical and learning disabilities. We recognise that there is huge diversity within the Deaf, blind and disabled communities and any bids we submit will be specific to particular groups’ needs depending on the scope of the opportunity. We look to form partnerships with organisations that understand the specific needs of these communities when developing and delivering this work. We have recently begun a project to support blind volunteers into our advice line.
Expanding our partnerships with a focus on working with ‘by and for’ organisations – Partnerships are integral to Solace achieving our vision and mission and, by working collaboratively, we can effect greater change in the lives of survivors of all forms of VAWG. We will seek to build partnerships with other specialist organisations to ensure that the most hidden women, including older women and disabled women are supported through tailored approaches. We will look to build new partnerships with small and grassroots, Black and global majority women’s organisations, with a focus on recognising their expertise and ensuring funding is equitable within our partnerships.
Campaigning for change - In our public affairs and campaigning work, we are committed to considering the varied impacts of policy proposals on Black and Global Majority women and others facing intersecting oppressions, as well as whether their particular needs are reflected in our policy positions. We commit to working in collaboration with ‘by and for’ organisations on support for migrant victims and the need for multi-year sustainable funding with protected allocations for services run by and for Black and Global Majority women, Deaf and disabled women, and LGBTQ+ survivors.