In partnership with Changing Lives, we explored the ways in which public services could be redesigned post-pandemic to better meet the needs of women with multiple unmet needs.
By working with those with both lived and learned experience in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, we worked to explore how services could be optimised to improve the lives of women and girls – and made national recommendations based on the findings.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on women and girls, and the specialist services supporting them (Voices From Lockdown, Agenda, 2021). Whilst the complexity of need of women and girls increased, with referrals dominated by the most complex and urgent needs, many services had to close, reduce or suspend their support, with over a quarter saying the pandemic made their financial position worse. This was particularly difficult for women already facing disadvantage and at greatest risk of poverty.
Through engagement with women with lived experience of multiple unmet needs, as well as service practitioners, funders, and decision makers in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, we:
- Examined the experience of women who engage with support services in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear.
- Explored the ways in which agencies can best work together across sectors to improve services.
- Provided recommendations for future improvements, setting out how public services could better respond to the needs of women and girls.
- Empowered women as advocates to safely share their experiences and use their voices to make change.
The project was funded by Smallwood Trust.