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PRESS RELEASE – Announcement: Spirit of Women

Amina – Muslim Women’s Resource Centre Receives Spirit of Women Grant

 ‘My Big Beating Voice’ project to challenge gender norms and stereotypes

Amina – Muslim Women’s Resource Centre (MWRC) is delighted to announce that it has been chosen to receive a Spirit of Women Changemakers small grant. Funding charity Spirit of 2012 (Spirit) created the Changemakers programme to mark and celebrate the centenary of the iconic moment in 1918 when women first won the right to vote.  The Fawcett Society, the UK’s leading membership charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights, delivers the grants programme in partnership with business services company BE Group.

Amina – MWRC in partnership with the Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre (ERCC) is amongst seven recipients who will receive grants of £8,000 to £15,000 to work in communities across the UK. In the year running up to the centenary celebrations in March 2018, we will deliver our project, ‘My Big Beating Voice’, which will focus on creating a safe, yet dynamic, creative space where minority ethnic girls can develop their voice and share their views. A series of workshops will be run with the girls with a focus on VAW and challenging perceptions of beauty and gender stereotypes. The themes that will be explored with the girls will include sexual harassment, isolation, and negative body perceptions (i.e. body hair, skin colour, clothing choices). The project will focus on improving the confidence, wellbeing and mental health of young women and girls, who through disability and/or forms of VAW, have experienced ongoing lack of self-esteem, unworthiness or self-hatred.

Alongside these aims, the projects will look to change perceptions of disability and drive social cohesion. Demand was high, as over 400 charities and social enterprises applied to the programme, through systems designed by leading business services company BE Group. The final grantees were selected by an expert panel of women with civil society and funding experience.

Samina Ansari, Amina – MWRC’s Chief Executive, said:

“We are so excited to be selected as one of the organisations for this incredible opportunity to creatively work with minority ethnic young women and girls in Edinburgh, in partnership with Edinburgh Rape Crisis to support and amplify their too often under-represented voices on identity, body confidence and image, and gender stereotypes.

Sam Smethers, Fawcett Society Chief Executive said:

“We were delighted with the quality and diversity of the many applications we received, which demonstrated the ambition in the voluntary sector to tackle the harmful norms and

stereotypes that underlie gender inequality in our society. We are looking forward to working alongside these great organisations to drive real change across the country.”

Debbie Lye, Chief Executive of Spirit of 2012, said:

“100 years on from women getting the right to vote in general elections, women and girls in the UK still face formidable challenges. Spirit is proud to be collaborating with Fawcett and BE Group to fund these innovative projects, which will celebrate women and empower them to change things for the better.”

The funded activity includes work across England, Scotland, and Wales, with women across different age ranges, ethnic groups, and disabled and non-disabled people. It ranges from a media and workshop campaign to change perceptions of disabled women in Wales, to intensive workshops on objectification with at-risk girls in south London.

About Amina – MWRC

Amina – MWRC is an award-winning organisation, recognised by minority ethnic and Muslim communities within Scotland for its pioneering and responsive approach to addressing the issues and needs of Muslim and minority ethnic women. Having invested in this specialist area where there was previously a gap in services in Scotland, Amina is recognised as the national hub for gaining access to, and consulting with Muslim and minority ethnic women across Scotland.

About the Fawcett Society

The Fawcett Society is the UK’s leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights. For 150 years, our aim has been to help bring about a society where the gender you are does not limit the life chances you have.



About Spirit of 2012

Spirit of 2012 is a funding charity, established with a £47m endowment from the Big Lottery Fund.  We fund partners across the UK that provide opportunities in sports, physical activity, arts and culture, volunteering and social action. Spirit was founded to continue and recreate the spirit of pride, positivity and social connectedness that people experienced during the London 2012 Games.  We invest to create good outcomes for people and communities.

About BE Group

The BE Group is a market leading specialist in business information, events and commercial development programmes.

With a well-deserved reputation for delivering exceptional results, BE Group’s comprehensive portfolio of services for business is based on the individual requirements of our customers.

For further information, interviews or images please contact

Fresh Communication 0845 0945 468

Nathalie Golden nathalie@freshcommunication.co.uk 07769 66 66 27

Abby Richardson abby@freshcommunication.co.uk 07876 378 733

Editor’s notes:

Link to online press release


The Spirit of Women Changemakers grants programme was launched by Spirit of 2012 Chief Executive Debbie Lye at Fawcett’s Spirit of Women Changemakers Conference in Manchester on 19th November 2016.

Changemakers offered grants of between £5,000 and £15,000 to organisations for new projects which offer creative, cultural, sporting or volunteering responses to the following challenges:

  • Improve women’s body confidence and challenge or overcome objectification
  • Challenge traditional gendered caring roles and the undervaluing of care
  • Support the development of healthy personal relationships

The funded projects also meet the wider goals of the Fawcett Society and Spirit of 2012:

  • Demonstrate that the activity will contribute to social cohesion, bringing diverse groups together to engage in their communities
  • Challenge perceptions of disability, through the project activity itself or through ensuring inclusion of disabled people in the project activity
  • Improve the wellbeing of participants and volunteers involved in the project
  • Have a celebratory aspect in the run up to the 2018 centenary of women getting the vote.

Applications were open to a range of organisations including charities, Community Interest Companies and Social Enterprises, and from partnerships or coalitions. The funded activity will be completed by March 2018.