top of page

Work We Have Done So Far

We have spent the last two years refining our model, here are some things we have delivered that we are particularly proud of. We’ve taken the lessons we’ve learned and now we’re building a new model.

Collecting our Dues: Revolutionising the money (and power) in people based movements

Issue

In every major struggle that has won and grown – from the Civil Rights Movement to the Suffragettes, from farm workers to the trade union movement, from the church to the African National Congress – the movement has organised the money of its members. not only grants and wealthy philanthropists. The backbone of these movements was the regular, ordinary members who paid dues to fund the work.

Mass based membership movements are prolific in the United States and South Africa. In the UK, however, our third sector was predominantly built from wealthy people’s “largesse” rather than major modern struggles.

That gap - of organisations that are built from ordinary people’s money, with some exceptions such as trade unions and the religious congregations -  is a fundamental block on the development of movement infrastructure in the UK.  It means, amongst other things: 

  • Most organisations’ funding is too precarious to build the long term, focused efforts to effect lasting change in our country.

  • Our movement's agendas are often not owned by the people they belong to.

  • Funder dynamics often limit an organisations’ ability to be radical, especially when taking money from the state.

  • Organisations can choose to not be accountable to how funding is allocated and strategized to the people they are for.

  • It disempowers ordinary people creating a transactional, charity-based model rather than having important conversations about what it truly takes to achieve meaningful change.

  • Organising becomes less transformative and more focused on achieving outputs for funders, rather than goals for members.

What have we done

Together with our friends at Act Build Change we supported by Lankelly Chase, we  interviewed over 20 organisations in the UK to learn how they created and framed membership, what impact it had on them, and how they thought about and spoke about money. We put together this guide on what we learnt: Collecting Our Dues

What have we got planned?

Having shown the power and possibility of what dues based membership can build - but also the challenges and limitations of their scale in the UK, we're currently working with funders and partners to draft a plan for what doesn't currently exist in the UK - a how to of building genuinely people powered movements.

Empowered Workplace: Helping employers properly prevent and respond to sexual harassment in the workplace 

Issue

Sexual harassment at work is still a prevalent yet often hidden issue. Right now, 52% of British women report having experienced sexual harassment at work and only 30% of them felt able to tell their employer what was happening. 

 

Countless women have told us that they’ve felt pressured by workplace cultures to accept unacceptable behaviour because it’s seen as ‘banter’, they fear repercussions, or they simply don’t know who to contact to share what they are experiencing. When they do disclose, they are often met with a process that isn’t fit for purpose, being pushed from pillar to post between internal staff who haven’t had access to the kind of training they need. 

What have we done

Love & Power has opened a new service delivery project, Empowered Workplace because we want every online and offline working environment to be free from harassment. In October of this year, employers will have a new legal responsibility to be proactive in preventing sexual harassment and supporting survivors when it does happen. We work with employers to audit their existing culture and offering, support them in writing trauma-informed, intersectional policy and train them to ensure survivors and the HR professionals and managers supporting them arent traumatised by the process of gaining support. 

What have we got planned?

All UK employers now have to be proactive about sexual harassment and we are building our client list now. If you’d like to bring us to your workplace, we’d love to talk to you, you can read more on our website or get in touch here. 

Intersectional Feminist Bootcamp

Issue

We want everyone to be able to learn about feminism - and we wanted there to be a place where people could go together to learn about intersectional feminism. We also think that movements can fall apart unless people’s learning is taken seriously and allows for all those in the movement to have a shared language and understanding.

What have we done?

We ran two multi-day Intersectional Feminist Bootcamps - one for 16-18 year olds and one for everyone over 18, we covered core feminist theory, training on running feminist campaigns and brought in external speakers. We partnered with local authorities, domestic abuse shelters and migrant and refugee organisations to provide scholarship places to anyone who wanted one. 

What have we got planned?

We want IFBC to be an annual flagship event! If you want to attend, sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear when we’re next running it, or if you want to bring IFBC to your school or HE organisation in an enrichment week or an afterschool programme, please email hello@loveandpower.co.uk

Some Women Need to Walk 

Issue

On the 23rd of March 2020, the UK government announced a stay-at-home order with very little consideration for what that meant for the 2.3 million people experiencing domestic abuse for whom home was not a safe place. We wanted the government to create a strategy of significant accommodation for survivors who needed to leave - potentially like hotels in France, but most importantly that sufficient accommodation were made available. In contrast, the government released only £2 million - most of which went to cover pre existing beds, rather than building new capacity.    

What have we done?

We built 80,000 supporters mobilised into action and 13 local actions - from the south coast to the Scottish Highlands.  Our team of volunteer researchers enacted hundreds of FOIs,  engaged 2/3 of MPs, and local groups across the country investigated what was happening in local areas - to our horror, two thirds of local authorities didn't buy any additional beds during lockdown, (even though calls to domestic abuse helplines were skyrocketing), and many local authorities didn’t even know how many beds were available or used. 

 

We looked at how many were accessible for children, wheelchair users, or for communities who need specialist services (like Kosher or Halal food). The Independent covered our research (read The Independent article here). Some of our teams developed further - our Kent group, led by school girls, met their MP and agreed a review of domestic abuse services and for her to become our first MP champion. 

 

Even before the pandemic, 2 out of 5 women who got so far as to ask to go were turned away from refuges, and as our research showed, even when money was released into the system, it plugged gaps rather than financed much-needed additional services. That’s when we knew a bigger strategy was needed.

What have we planned?

Over the next two years we’re building a survivor survey, with local teams across the country mapping and changing what happens in their areas. If you want to join, click here

Issue

Every year on results day, half of all young people celebrate as they accept their places into university. But we know that university is not always a safe space for women, minoritised ethnic groups, differently-abled people, or/ and members of the LGBT community - all of whom are disproportionately effected by sexual harassment and assault.

 

We know that 3 out of 5 women at university will experience sexual assault.

 

And just 2% of students who are assaulted both come forward to get support and then feel satisfied with the response that they get from their university.

What have we done?

We work in partnership with universities who want to offer their community the very best in terms of prevention and response to sexual abuse. 

 

In 2020, we released research into the experiences of over 8,000 students. This research was the first of its kind as it broke down the experiences of student survivors depending on their identity and circumstance. This means we learned things like 71% of make survivors deal with their assault totally alone and that Black and minority ethnic students are twice as likely to be sexually assaulted in places of learning 

 

We worked with SOAS university to pilot a holistic approach to this, which was trauma informed, survivor centered and intersectional.

What have we got planned?

Over the next two years we’re building a survivor survey, with local teams across the country mapping and changing what happens in their areas. For more information, visit the Empowered Campus website 

bottom of page