Today is International Day of Charity, so what better occasion to celebrate some of the best charities in the UK. We haven’t made a post like this since 2011 and some of the charities included in it no longer exist and/or do not share the values on which we pride ourselves here at The F-Word. This list is non-exhaustive, so please get in touch via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram if there are any amazing organisations you think we are missing.
ARF was established in 2014 to supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender intersexual (LGBTQI+) people fleeing persecution in their home countries because of their sexuality and/or gender identity and seeking asylum in the UK. The horizontally-run organisation has since expanded to support LGBTIQ people of all ethnicities and nationalities. They also campaign against social injustice and challenge any UK immigration mistreatment of LGBTIQ asylum seekers’ application process, as well as seeking to influence government policies, campaigning on individual member’s asylum cases, offering practical support, organising rallies and other activities.
“ARF was established in 2014 by a lesbian in the wake of some Commonwealth countries in Africa’s toxic and draconian anti-gay laws; persecutions and environment which seek to criminalise LGBTIQs for the preference of whom they choose to love.”
Ashiana began its operations in 1989. They help Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) women, particularly women from South Asian, Turkish & Iranian communities and/or aged between 16-30 who are at risk of domestic violence and sexual violence.
Birds Eye View celebrates and supports women filmmakers, “[centring] the female perspective in film and [campaigning] for gender equality in all film spaces. We see ourselves as inclusive – not just for women, but for everyone.” Their #ReclaimTheFrame project, funded by the BFI Audience Fund, spotlights and celebrates new and old films created by women, as well as supporting women working in film through advocacy, investment, mentoring and events.
Bloody Good Period provides menstrual products to those who can’t afford them. “What started as a whip-round on Facebook is now a growing charity, with a vision to achieve menstrual equity – where the simple fact of bleeding doesn’t stop anyone from participating fully in society, or life.”
Beyond Bars are queer and trans prison abolitionists who send books and other educational materials to LGBTQI+ people who are incarcerated in prisons, young offenders, and detention centres, as a way of providing practical support to those inside. They also support abolitionist work – particularly against prison expansion – and seek to promote abolitionist politics within the queer and trans communities.
Brook is the UK’s leading sexual health and wellbeing charity for people under the age of 25. Not only do they provide information and services to do with contraception, STIs and pregnancy, but they also provide non-judgmental advice and information about gender identity, sexuality, the growing body and abuse and violence. In addition, they have resources for educational practitioners, including in preparation for the Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) curriculum, which is compulsory from this academic year.
Established in 2005, EVAW is a “coalition of specialist women’s support services, researchers, activists, survivors and NGOs working to end violence against women and girls in all its forms.” They “campaign for every level of government to adopt better, more joined up approaches to ending and preventing violence against women and girls, and we challenge the wider cultural attitudes that tolerate and condone this abuse.”
EVAW has two key goals:
To lobby all levels of Government in the UK to improve their policy and practice in response to violence against women and girls.
To influence and shape wider public attitudes towards violence against women and girls, so that there is better understanding of its causes and consequences, and a better mandate for tackling it. This work includes influencing public attitudes, community leaders and the media representation of violence against women and girls.
Feminist Fightback is an non-hierarchical and consensus-based collective developed out of conferences in 2006 and 2007, inspired by the politics of a range of anti-capitalist feminist struggles. They believe that no single oppression can be challenged in isolation from all other forms of exploitation that intersect with it. They are also committed to fighting for a feminist perspective and awareness of gender issues everywhere in our movement – not marginalising ‘women’s rights’ as a separate issue.
The Feminist Library is a large London-based archive of literature about the Women’s Liberation Movement, particularly second-wave materials dating from the late 1960s to the 1990s.
Having been closed during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, they will reopen from 7 September 2020. Due to social distancing measures, visitors each day are limited to four. You can email [email protected]to book a slot.
The Feminist Review is a a peer-reviewed journal based in London. It is “committed to exploring gender in its multiple forms and interrelationships. As well as academic articles we publish experimental pieces, visual and textual media and political interventions, including, for example, interviews, short stories, poems and photographic essays.”
FORWARD is an African women-led organisation that has been working to end violence against women and girls for over 30 years. “From female genital mutilation and child marriage to domestic and sexual violence, we tackle abuse and discrimination – enabling African women and girls to have the dignity, health and equality they deserve.”
Hibiscus works with with marginalised Foreign National, Black, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BMER) women in prison, in community, in Court, and in immigration removal centres, as well as with men in custodial settings where this complements our work with women.
They support migrant offenders and those at risk of offending, places Hibiscus as one of the leading organisations supporting foreign nationals and BMER groups and individuals involved in the UK criminal justice system.
They also aim to educate and influence policy makers and the public about the experiences of our clients, many of whom end up in the criminal justice system when in fact they should be treated as victims of abject poverty, violence or because they have been coerced into criminal activity.
Since 1989, the Jan Trust has worked with vulnerable women and young people from BMER and Muslim backgrounds to help them overcome barriers to integration and inclusion, so they can improve their prospects. These barriers include lack of key skills such as English, together with social isolation, lack of self-confidence, low emotional well-being and poor awareness of options open to them.
KMEWO promotes Kurdish and Middle Eastern women’s human rights, helps women to recover from the trauma of domestic abuse and honour-based violence, and advocates to increase Kurdish and Middle Eastern “women’s opportunities for better education, employment and participation in wider British society.”
LAWRS are a user-led, feminist and human rights organisation focused on addressing the practical and strategic needs of Latin American migrant women in the UK who are displaced by poverty and violence.
Founded in 1983, their mission is to “provide Latin American migrant women with tools to assert our rights, and pursue personal empowerment and social change”. They directly support more than 5,000 women annually through culturally and linguistically specialist advice, information, counselling and psychotherapy, advocacy, development programmes, and workshops.
Mermaids has been supporting trans and gender-diverse children, young people, and their families since 1995. What started as a group of concerned parents around a kitchen table has evolved into one of the UK’s leading LGBTQI+ charities, “empowering thousands of people with its secure online communities, local community groups, helpline services, web resources, events and residential weekends.”
“We also seek to educate and inform wider society on gender identity by helping professionals accommodate and reassure gender-variant young people.”
“Over the years, we’ve seen many changes in the language and understanding surrounding gender issues but one thing remains the same: transgender children deserve the freedom and confidence to explore their gender identity wherever their journey takes them, free from fear, isolation and discrimination.”
Launched in 2013, Migdal Emunah is a support service for Jewish victims (of all denominations) of sexual abuse and their families. They provide practical and emotional support in a variety of ways for victims and those affected by the trauma of sexual abuse and raise awareness about sexual abuse, challenging the myths and taboos surrounding abuse. They can signpost statutory services as well as other voluntary agencies for the benefit of our clients. Migdal Emunah provides impartial and professional services, including access to a trained Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA), trained counsellors, sex therapists, family therapists and children’s therapists. They also provide access to rabbinical and legal advice.
Migrateful runs cookery classes led by refugees, asylum seekers and migrants to help them to integrate and access employment. The cookery classes provide ideal conditions not just for learning English and building confidence, but also for promoting contact and cultural exchange with the wider community.
The Parliament Project is a non-party political project that encourages women to run for political office in the UK, with the ultimate aim of achieving 51% female repressentation in all spheres of politics. “Focusing on practical, hands-on training and support, we run online workshops to demystify the process for women wanting to get involved in politics and online peer support circles to support women’s political ambitions more deeply.”
Rape Crisis provides co-ordination for the national network of Rape Crisis Centres across England and Wales. Rape Crisis Centres provide a range of specialist services for women and girls that have been raped or experienced another form of sexual violence – whether as adults or as children.
They have a helpline provided by Rape Crisis South London: 0808 802 9999 It’s open between 12:00 and 14:30 and 19:00 and 21:30 every day of the year. They also have a non-emergency Live Chat Helpline with the following opening hours:
Refugee Women Connect supports women asylum seekers and refugees to navigate the complex asylum process. By providing services such as weekly visits to Initial Accommodation Centres and weekly drop-ins, volunteers to accompany women to appointments, support groups and one to one emotional support, they provide a lifeline to many women asylum seekers and refugees. “Refugee Women Connect exists because women asylum seekers and refugees face inequality and are denied social justice. Refugee and asylum-seeking women can be vulnerable and isolated, not knowing what their rights are or how to exercise those rights.”
Rights of Women is committed to informing, educating and empowering women concerning their legal rights. Offering specialist advice in family law, divorce and relationship breakdown, children and contact issues, domestic violence, sexual violence, discrimination and lesbian parenting.
Sister Supporter campaigns for an end to the harassment of pregnant people outside abortion clinics, nationwide. They successfully campaigned for a Public Space Protection order (PSPO) around a Marie Stopes clinic in Ealing, London after harassment had taken place there on a daily basis for 23 years. “Now the space outside the clinic is a harassment-free ‘Safe Zone’, allowing women the right to privacy and access to healthcare free from intimidation and harassment.”
Sisters of Frida CIC is an experimental co-operative of disabled women. “We want a new way of sharing experiences, mutual support and relationships with different networks.”
“We are seeking to build a/or different networks of disabled women. The barriers and multiple discrimination have not changed, we struggle to have our voices heard as disabled women in our own rights. We would like a sisterhood, a circle of disabled women to discuss, share experiences and explore intersectional possibilities.”
The SBS trace their history back to 1979, when hundreds joined an Anti-Nazi League demonstration in Southall, west London against a National Front election meeting in the town hall, in which the 33-year-old activist Blair Peach was killed by Special Patrol Group Officers.
They successfully campaigned against ‘virginity testing‘ of Asian immigrant women and famously campaigned for the retrial of Kiranjit Ahluwalia, who was convicted of murder for setting her abusive husband on fire. You can read more about the case here. You can read more about SBS’ rich history here.
The SBS describe themselves as “a secular and inclusive organisation” established “to meet the needs of Black (Asian and African-Caribbean) women.” They aim to “highlight and challenge all forms gender-related violence against women, empower them to gain more control over their lives; live without fear of violence and assert their human rights to justice, equality and freedom.”
South Asian Sisters Speak is a community of British South Asian women who connect through common experiences and interests and to foster a safe environment to share and support one another in navigating the “sometimes conflicting and confusing cultural expectations and experiences.” Inspired by the Black Feminist Movement, they wish to build a similar movement among South Asian feminists.
SWARM is a UK-based collective founded and led by sex workers who believe in self-determination, solidarity and co-operation. They describe themselves as being “part of the global sex worker-led movement advocating the full decriminalisation of sex work.” They campaign for the rights and safety of everyone who sells sexual services. They organise skill-shares and support meet-ups just for sex workers, as well as public events.
The Women’s Library, currently hosted by the library of the London School of Economics, documents all aspects of women’s lives, with an emphasis on women in the UK throughout the great political, economic and social changes of the past 150 years.
It includes 60,000 books and pamphlets, 3,000 journal titles, over 500 archives and 5,000 museum objects, including photographs, posters, badges and banners.
UK Feminista is campaigning organisation acting as a bridge between grassroots campaigners, feminist groups and blogs and charities. Provides a comprehensive guide to UK feminist groups and networks and both local and national events.
UKLGIG supports LGBTQI+ people as they navigate the asylum and immigration system. “Our vision is a world where there is equality, dignity, respect and safety for all people in the expression of their sexual or gender identity.”They provide psychosocial and emotional support for LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum to help improve their confidence and self-esteem and reduce isolation. They also provide legal information and advice. In addition, they campaign for improved treatment of people seeking asylum.
Both organisations are based on self-help and provide support, legal information and advocacy. They campaign for justice and protection for all women and girls, including asylum seekers, who have suffered sexual, domestic and/or racist violence.
“Wen acts to achieve equality, justice and joy at the point where gender and environmental issues meet. We work both in East London and nationally to support women and grass-root movements. Our mission is to achieve environmental justice, and we do this through providing women with equal access to knowledge, resources and opportunities to better their day-to-day experience.”
Women for Refugee Women supports a network of around 250 refugee and asylum-seeking women to develop their confidence and skills through English lessons, drama groups and yoga, as well as providing immigration and employment advice. With Birkbeck University of London, they offer courses in computing. They also have a group called the Rainbow Sisters, which is ” a supportive, welcoming and confidential group open to lesbian, bisexual and trans women, and non-binary people seeking asylum.”
The Women’s Resource Centre is a charity supports women’s organisations to be more effective and sustainable. Members work in a wide range of fields including violence against women, employment, education, rights and equality, the criminal justice system and the environment.
Works to meet the needs of Black women, their families and communities by promoting anti-discriminatory practice; providing advice and advocacy; capacity building Black organisations and staging cultural activities such as Black History Season.
“The Common House is a collectively-run space for community initiatives, activist groups and radical cultural projects. It is not just a venue to be managed but is an attempt to organise and maintain space, relationships and resources for radical ideas and practices in London. It is run by groups that understand the importance of taking care of ourselves and each other whilst struggling against the social, economic and environmental injustices created by capitalism and the oppressive forces that come with it”
East London Rape Crisis Service provides free, confidential specialist help for women and girls who have been raped or experienced any other form of sexual violence at any time in their lives. They run a helpline (0800 160 1036) and offer counselling and advocacy services.
The London Black Women’s Project (LBWP) works with Black, Asian and visible minority ethnic women who have experienced domestic violence and abuse. The LBWP have have seven refuges with 51 bed spaces.
They recently launched their ‘Project: Free Choice’, “a dedicated and specialist forced marriage project focusing on early intervention and prevention responses to all BME women and girls was launched. This project
provides frontline support, advocacy and awareness raising to women and girls.”
“LBWP also developed ‘VISION OF ME’, using BME women and girls’ creative agency to empower by
constructing worldviews that are free from violence and harm. This project aims to transform the ways
women and girls are supported by changing power dynamics between ‘provider’ and ‘user’.”
London Friend provides mental health support to the LGBTQI+ community. They have an online support group and can also offer 12 weeks of counselling. They offer support regarding sexual health and drug abuse. They also have a creative writing group.
Queer AF Brighton was formed in response to the levels of transphobia and racism experienced in the queer community. Its mission is “to raise the profile of underrepresented voices among us, whilst challenging the norms that oppress us all”, underscored by leftist politics and antifascist principles.
“We have come together to embody the spirit of queer liberation and resistance. We want to spark up critical conversation within our community, and explore how we can make it stronger and safer for all. We want to strive for better living conditions, considering how gender, race, class and disability intersect.”
Queer AF was formed in response to the rise of racism and transphobia in the community and beyond. Through a new system of group organising they educate, agitate and organise with the community to radically improve queer lives.
Ashiana Sheffield has over 30 years’ experience working with Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BAMER) adults, children and young people fleeing domestic and sexual abuse including forced marriage, human trafficking, female genital mutilation, gang violence and ‘honour’ based violence.
The Angelou Centre is a black-led women’s centre based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne providing a range of services for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BME) women across the North East region. As well as delivering frontline support, the centre works at national level to ensure the voices of BME women are represented.
The Mama Health and Poverty Partnership “[brings] together specialist services for Black women by Black / African women and girls to change their experiences and address health inequalities and poverty.” Its aim is to “eradicate health inequalities and poverty faced Black/African women and girls” by “providing culturally appropriate advice [and] information to minimise [the] negative impacts of the cause[s] and consequence[s] of health inequalities and poverty.”
Manchester MiSol is a self-help group set up as a convergence space for all migrants including asylum seekers offering practical and social activities for mutual support, empowerment and solidarity with non-migrants to build a powerful political voice against the systematic mistreatment of migrants in the UK.
“We share our experiences, empower and support one another whilst fighting for our rights and raising awareness about the issues that force women to seek international protection and the effects of the injustices experienced through the UK immigration system. We are women of all ages, nationalities, ethnicities, sexual orientation and disability. We speak many languages, practice many religions and accommodate for all. Some of us have children and spouses or partners with us, others face our families being split up by deportation and many of us are alone.As woman seeking asylum we can often feel vulnerable due to isolation, trauma, ill health, facing destitution, homelessness, or deportation. At WAST we have safe space where we can feel ourselves.”
Safety4Sisters was established in 2009 to address the exclusion of migrant women (particularly those with ‘no recourse to public funds’) from the most basic rights of safety and protection. “We work toward this through our policy work – highlighting strategies and practices that exclude migrant women from protection within statutory and voluntary provision; through educating and challenging organisations and the public to uphold the human rights of migrant women – and bearing witness and documenting where this does not happen; and through the creation of spaces for sisterhood in which the individual stories of migrant women – their experiences of disempowerment and struggle for survival – are transformed into collective stories and collective action.”
In line with Covid-19 guidelines, the offices of Safety4Sisters are currently closed. But you can still contact them:
Telephone: 0161 464 9505 Mobile ( phone or text): 07591 359733
Saheli provides support for Asian women who are in or have left violent domestic abuse situations. They offer “an environment which is safe, culturally familiar and which helps them come to decisions of their own about their next steps.” They provide temporary refuge for women and their children who have left their homes due to domestic violence, counselling and practical support to women with in the refuge, care and support for the children of women within the refuge, aftercare support to women and their children who have left the refuge, and support women in whatever decision they make regarding their future, whether they decide to return to their partners or whether they decide to set up independently.
SAWN was established in 2007 to promote the welfare of Black/African women . “SAWN´s aim is to realise the full potential of women by engaging them in activities, providing opportunities and events to make women independent, self-sustaining and key players in matters that concern them.”
Project Mama offers birth support for displaced women in Bristol. “We provide one-to-one birth companions to ensure each mother gives birth safely, makes informed choices and receives the nurturing support she needs for a positive birth and early parenting experience. We seek to improve the health & wellbeing in women who often experience multiple disadvantage, exacerbated by displacement. We foster community & resilience through our MAMAHub and promote self-advocacy which speaks to wider social change, through our project Bumps & Babes without Borders.”
Alliance for Choice is an organisation that campaigns for the extension of the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland. It is made up of women and men, from both Catholic and Protestant communities in the North of Ireland, who want to see equality and self-determination for women.
Women’s Policy Group NI works regionally to advance women’s equality and participation in society. Their vision is of a fair and equal society where women are empowered and are a visible force for change and influence in all areas of life.
Action for Trans Health was set up in February 2014. Since then, they have grown to be the UK’s largest (and only) campaign for patient-worker control of trans healthcare; with established groups in Manchester and Leeds, as well as groups currently being set up in Liverpool and Brighton.
Engender is a feminist policy and advocacy organisation. “Engender has a vision for a Scotland in which women and men have equal opportunities in life, equal access to resources and power, and are equally safe and secure from harm.” They’re currently focusing on influencing policy in the spheres of abortion, social security and disability rights. They are also working to incorporate the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Violence Against Women (CEDAW) in domestic Scottish law and to increase the representation of women and Black and Minority Ethnic people in local councils.
Established in 2003, LGBT Health and Wellbeing works to improve the health, wellbeing and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Scotland. They provide support services, social events and develop resources so LGBT people can address the health issues that impact their lives and connect with their local communities. We address health inequalities with a wide range of partners to ensure LGBT people have access to quality healthcare that is inclusive of their needs. Their vision is “a Scotland where LGBT people are no longer marginalised and invisible, where health inequalities are eradicated from society, and where the quality of life of LGBT people is continuously improving across every aspect of society.”
Rape Crisis Scotland is the national organisation in Scotland campaigning to prevent sexual violence. They work in partnership with 14 local Rape Crisis Centres providing support, advocacy and prevention services across Scotland. They also run the freephone national helpline open daily 6pm to midnight on 08088010302
Saheliya is a specialist mental health and well-being support organisation for black, minority ethnic, asylum seeker, refugee and migrant women and girls (12+) in the Edinburgh and Glasgow area. Their mission is “to promote mental well-being by combating the effects of discrimination and abuse, reducing the stigma of mental health, and improving access to mainstream services.” Their vision is “a fully inclusive Scotland where BME women are active citizens, socially engaged and economically integrated.”
Scottish Women’s Aid is the leading organisation in Scotland working towards the prevention of domestic abuse. An important aspect of our work is ensuring that women and children with experience of domestic abuse get the services they need, both from local Women’s Aid groups and from the agencies they are likely to
Shakti Women’s Aid helps BME women, children, and young people experiencing, or who have experienced, domestic abuse from a partner, ex-partner, and/ or other members of the household. We also work closely with the Scottish Government, Police Scotland, NHS Scotland, and other statutory and voluntary services. We provide training and consultancy for agencies working with BME women, children, and young people.
They are based in Edinburgh and also have outreach staff in Dundee, Stirling and Fife. But they are able to offer limited support to BME women, and their advisers, all over Scotland by phone and email.
Ubuntu Women Shelter is a Glasgow-based charity dedicated to meeting the short term (72 hours – 1 week) emergency accommodation needs of women with no recourse to public funds. Ubuntu Women Shelter is the first dedicated shelter in the UK that provides short term accommodation for women with no recourse to public funds. Importantly, the shelter will be run and managed by persons with lived experience of Destitution, Asylum and Migration. Their collective has more than ten years of shared experience in supporting destitute Asylum seekers.
They have a 24/7 emergency housing helpline: 07570 877817.
Bawso is the lead organisation in Wales providing practical and emotional support to black minority ethnic (BME) and migrant victims of domestic abuse, sexual violence, human trafficking, Female Genital Mutilation and forced marriage. Our vision is of a future when all people in Wales are free from abuse, violence and exploitation. To achieve this vision, we have been working tirelessly for twenty-four years and to end all forms of Violence Against Women. We have supported a quarter of a million people.
Due to the coronavirus, their offices are currently closed. But you can call their helpline on 0800 731 8147.
Ladies of Rage was founded as a mutual support network to challenge the patriarchal and misogynistic systems of oppression that face women in music, particularly in genres such as hip-hop, drum and bass and jungle where womxn are massively underrepresented. As a collective they champion each other, using grassroots organising and networking to get artists recognition and bookings; they hold regular jam sessions in a safe space; and hold child friendly jams so women with children can explore their creativity without worrying about childcare, which is so important as so many womxn are isolated with no support and struggle to find time for their own passions.
Women Connect First was established on 1 March 2001, St. David’s Day, to empower BME women in Cardiff and South East Wales by offering a range of services and training in order to improve their livelihoods and employability.
“At present we cater for a wider client group and offer a range of services including advice, advocacy, counselling, and a wide range of training programmes and volunteering opportunities amongst others. WCF targets, in particular, disadvantaged, isolated and marginalised Black and Minority Ethnic women, who are experiencing multiple layers of depravation, discrimination and exclusion in accessing services and employment. Our mission is to empower and improve the lives of disadvantaged BME women and communities in South Wales, to help them realise their full potential and make a positive contribution to Welsh society.”
Established in 1978, Welsh Women’s Aid is a survivor-focused charity in Wales working to end domestic abuse and all forms of violence against women. They are a federation of specialist organisations in Wales (working as part of a UK network of services) that provide services to survivors of violence and abuse – women, men, children, families – and they deliver a range of innovative preventative services in local communities.
They do this by campaigning for change and providing advice, consultancy, support and training to deliver policy and service improvements for survivors, families and communities.
They deliver services including the Live Fear Free Helpline funded by Welsh Government, a National Training Service, and they are piloting the Survivors Empowering and Educating Services (SEEdS) project, which seeks to empower survivors of violence and abuse to collectively influence and inform improvements in public services and commissioning frameworks and help change attitudes.
They also deliver the Wales National Quality Service Standards (NQSS), a national accreditation framework for domestic abuse specialist services in Wales (supported by the Welsh Government) as part of a UK suite of integrated accreditation systems and frameworks.