Past funded projects

ROSA, the UK fund for women and girls

Past Funded Projects:

Rosa champions the women’s sector, drawing in new funds which we invest wisely by giving as grants to projects and initiatives that fall within one of our four priority areas of leadership and representation, safety, health and wellbeing and economic justice.

Leadership and Participation

Rosa invests in organisations which increase the leadership and participation of women. Women’s participation in public life and decision-making in the UK is at an all-time high but still falls short of an equal voice. Women’s rates of participation and leadership both directly in politics, and more widely in the economy and the media are low, and show that in most key areas of decision-making and influence, men still run the UK.

International experience indicates that women who make progress when gender roles are challenged in education, in the media, and by women themselves.

Rosa supports work on leadership and participation, including the below example which empowered young women to be more vocal and take a leadership role in responding to the issues that matter to them.

Following on from Rosa’s 2011 Challenge Fund, we identified a great funding gap around organisations working with young women, and in two particular areas: violence, and issues of self-esteem and aspiration. Self-esteem among young women is an issue that we know is particularly difficult for groups to secure funding for, and yet it is at the heart of so many restrictions on women’s choices. So in 2012, we ran a Girls and Young Women funding programme to support creative approaches that aims to unearth the roots of this issue and encourage individuals to find solutions for themselves and their communities.

To find out about upcoming and current Rosa grants programmes go to ‘How to Apply’, or to find out how to support Rosa’s work visit ‘What You Can Do.


Rosa invests in organisations which work to create a safer world for women. Violence against women, which includes domestic violence, stalking and harassment, rape and sexual offences, forced marriage, honour-based violence and female genital mutilation, child abuse, sexual exploitation by human trafficking and prostitution, is a shameful violation of women’s human rights and a cause and consequence of women’s inequality.

Fear of violence reduces women’s autonomy and choices. We want to end violence and the fear of violence. The below example is illustrative of some of our work on women’s safety.

Rosa is a partner in the Tackling FGM Initiative, which by 2016 will have invested £2.8 million in grass-roots preventive work to reduce the risk to girls and young women in the UK of undergoing female genital mutilation. The initiative has supported 10 organisations over the last five years, as well as launching a small grants programme to increase the availability of funding to more organisations across the UK.

Supported by Comic Relief, Rosa’s FGM Small Grants Programme launched in July 2013 and our supported projects will run until May 2016. The programme has helped voluntary and community organisations from across the UK to:

  • increase their skills, knowledge and confidence in tackling FGM in their local communities
  • Make links with and influence local statutory bodies to help them to improve their response to FG)
  • Form networks with others, sharing learning and good practice, and jointly tackling FGM.

Each of the five funding round offered grants of between £500 and £5,000, with around 8-10 grants distributed per round. We are delighted to have supported a wide variety of exciting initiatives taking place across the UK. These include community champion programmes, conferences, awareness-raising workshops, training for community groups and professionals, research and mapping projects, arts projects, and a peer education programme. 

To find out about upcoming and current Rosa grants programmes go to ‘How to Apply’, or to find out how to support Rosa’s work visit ‘What You Can Do.

Health and Wellbeing

Rosa invests in work to improve the health and wellbeing of women and girls. Women’s health is impacted not just by their biological sex, such as illness and disease related to reproductive functions, but also their socially-constructed gender roles. Gender inequality in income and autonomy make women vulnerable to poverty, and thence to an unhealthy lifestyle, particularly while their earning power is reduced during child rearing.

The below example is illustrative of an example of Rosa’s work to improve the mental health and wellbeing of women.

The Rosa Centrica Women’s Network Fund invested in projects providing interventions to women with low self-esteem and fewer aspirations living in marginalised communities in the Thames Valley area. Successful organisations were supported through volunteering, networking and mentoring from CWN as well as receiving financial support.

This programme enabled us to support three inspiring organisations:

Works for Us supports disadvantaged and isolated women aged 45-55 to overcome their barriers to employment. Tailored to the particular needs of this age group, 48 women received help in building their confidence and self-esteem, identifying their skills and abilities, considering their employment options, and developing the practical tools and knowledge needed to re-enter employment. Learn more about the org here.

Mapis Project CIC provides engagement courses, training opportunities, accredited qualifications and practical mentoring to women at risk and disadvantaged young people who are economically inactive and socially excluded to raise their confidence and employability skills.Learn more about the org here.

Startup was developed to help address the challenges faced by women upon release from prison, working with partners to offer holistic support with specialist advice and funding from Startup to set up a business or be better positioned to become employed.Learn more about the org here

To find out about upcoming and current Rosa grants programmes go to ‘How to Apply’, or to find out how to support Rosa’s work visit ‘‘What You Can Do.

Economic Justice

Rosa invests in organisations which work with individual women who are struggling with employment, helping women to return to the labour market and find work on a par with their skills. Gender has a massive impact on economic wellbeing, influencing wealth, employment, and access to public goods and services, as well as capital and credit. Women are more likely to live in poverty in the UK than men, so Rosa supports organisations which are actively working to ensure that women stay out of poverty and in employment.

In 2012 we also completed our Rosa Challenge Fund, inviting proposals from large and small organisations about how they would invest a share of £100,000 to benefit as many women as possible in the UK. The Challenge Fund attracted over 270 applications, with a total funding need of almost £9million.

One of the grant Rosa awarded was to ‘Cutting Women Out’, a collaboration between Fawcett and the Women’s Budget Group. These two organisations invested Rosa’s grant in speaking with women across the UK to discover the everyday impacts of government cuts on women’s lives, and producing easy to use toolkits that enable individuals to challenge and change how the passing down of budget cuts, especially to the local government tier, is set to hurt women hard.

The Rosa Centrica Women’s Network Fund also invested in projects providing interventions to get women with low self-esteem and fewer aspirations back into employment.

To find out about upcoming and current Rosa grants programmes go to ‘How to Apply’, or to find out how to support Rosa’s work visit‘What You Can Do.

Our Mission

Rosa’s mission is to support women and girls to create a society in which they:

Have an equal voice
Are safe and free from fear and violence
Enjoy good health and wellbeing
Achieve economic justice