About Us

About Us

Women in Philanthropy is a network of women building a sustainable fund with the goal of improving local life by helping small, often unknown charities across Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland.

 WiP chooses three different charities to support each year, all doing essential work to keep our city and counties healthy, safe and thriving. As a membership group, all WiP membership money goes to support these charities, with half invested to provide a future income and the rest going straight to them at the end of the year.

The charities also benefit in many other ways from their association with WiP, including exposure to new audiences, the development of their confidence and presentation skills and every year De Montfort University sponsor and produce a short film for each about work.

WiP holds regular events for members that are all sponsored and free to attend – and does not ask for endless money. The WiP Fund is being grown through a fixed donation which can be broken down into an easy monthly direct debit of just £41.66, or £500 per member per year.

Together, WiP members are making a real and lasting difference to our communities.

2019 chosen charities

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Dear Albert
Dear Albert helps individuals to stop taking alcohol and drugs. Calling Dear Albert in the first instance can be the first step to resolving the problem and getting access to the help required.  Dear Albert also specialises working directly with providers of substance misuse services and other organisations to achieve better outcomes.
Out of Hours Club Rutland
Out of Hours Club Rutland (OHCR) is a group for young adults with additional needs to get together and go out for a range of different activities; from going to the pub, meals out, cinema, theatre, bowling and having days out whilst encouraged to socialize, build confidence and  become more  independent.
Zinthiya Trust
Zinthiya Trust works to alleviate domestic abuse, honour-based violence & FGM: by supporting women and girls experiencing or at risk of psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse. Zinthiya also works to alleviate poverty: by supporting people to improve their financial position, with information and advice with energy, money, debt, and benefits issues.


2018 chosen charities 

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First Step Leicester

First Step Leicester empowers men and boys aged 13 and over in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to move forward from the negative impact sexual abuse has on their lives. Survivors receive emotional and/or practical support empowering them to rebuild their emotional well-being, self-esteem and confidence through specialised weekly counselling, initially for 26 weeks.

Those under 18 are also supported through art, music and play therapy.  Partners, family members and friends are encouraged to understand their own needs, enabling them to better support the survivor.  Many clients have only recently disclosed to their immediate family and this can bring additional issues to their relationships. By supporting family members to come to terms with the disclosure they are better able to help the survivor to improve mental health and wellbeing.

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The Wellbeing Centre

The Wellbeing Centre supports vulnerable people (18 and over) with a range of mental health issues in Leicestershire and Rutland. It helps them to stay out of crisis, aids their recovery from poor mental health, and provides a weekly daytime and monthly evening café  with access to a range of activities.

These include yoga, relaxation techniques, mindfulness, arts and crafts, badminton, boccia, table tennis, healthy eating, and bread making. The café project is very much user-led with the support of volunteers, with café members involved in its development and scope, which enables the project to be responsive to their needs and requirements, supporting members to build confidence, resilience, reduce social isolation, develop a peer support network & new skills.

Park Lodge

Park Lodge Project

Park Lodge Project provides safe and supported accommodation for 33 young homeless people between the ages of 16 and 25, ensuring they gain the necessary life skills required for independence. Park Lodge supports young people to speak out on issues that affect their lives, and help them to find confidence in their own voice so as support them to reach their aims and aspirations.

Each young person will receive an individual resettlement plan and staff will continue to support them once they have moved on into suitable accommodation to ensure they live successfully within the community.  Support workers assist them with their individual needs which will form their support plan through a variety of methods i.e. one-to-one, group work, drop in sessions, and planned activities and assessments, both formal and informal which are held during the day and evening.


2017 chosen charities

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The Evington Centre is the only place in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland able to provide specialist care for people with advanced dementia. They are building dementia-friendly gardens to allow residents to enjoy ‘purposeful pottering’.

“As a small, local health charity we were delighted to be selected as one of the three WiP charities in 17/18. It has been great to network with the members of WiP and to talk to them about our dementia garden and activity shed appeal. The money we have received will enable us to begin work on the first of two dementia gardens and we hope that the film you produced for us with DMU will help us to  secure the remaining funds. We would whole-heartedly recommend being a part of the WiP. Thank you so much for your support.”

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Centre for Fun and Families improves the lives of children and young people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland by delivering evidence-based groupwork therapeutic programmes and sessions to help tackle anxiety and other mental health issues.

“It was a great honour to be selected as one of  the three Wip small charities. Wip’s overarching aim is commendable in supporting such innovative and effective work carried out by small charities within local communities, across Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland. The networking opportunity was fab. We secured an additional Board member. Plus, the money we received will make an amazing difference to the infra-structure of our organisation, enabling our communications to be more efficient and to reach more families. Thank you for the opportunity.”

NDND LOGONew Dawn New Day enables women and their families across Leicester and Leicestershire to overcome personal and social barriers through the provision of childcare, training, group work and one-to-one support, including counselling and advice.

“It was a real honour to be one of WiP’s chosen charities this year. As a small local charity working to support women who have complex needs, we often struggle to secure funds and the support of the wider community. Through WiP we have not only received vital funds for our work but we have also been able to raise awareness of the lives of women who face so many difficulties and obstacles in turning their lives around. The women we met through WiP were really interested in what we do and really got what we are working to achieve. Thank you so much for the opportunity (and the cakes !)”

2016 chosen charities

The WiP Fund organised the making and funding of the films shown below to support 2015 and 16 chosen charities. This initiative was sponsored by DMU who gave time and expertise to the projects. These films help raise awareness of the role of the charities and will increase their chances of support and interest from donors in the future. WiP would particularly like to thank David Soden of De Montfort University for his invaluable support and practical input.


Addresses homelessness and its causes, working with some of the most marginalised people in society.

Supports vulnerable women, children and young people involved in, or at risk of sexual exploitation, prostitution, trafficking.

Provides range of practical outdoor courses and activities as an alternative to mainstream education.

“I just wanted to say a huge thank you to all of the WiP group for your immense support this year.  It has been an amazing journey and we have found it hugely beneficial.  At the beginning we knew what we did, but we were really struggling to get a concise message across, and WiP really helped us to create that. We were amazed in the interest that there was in the work of SLT, and because we do it every day we just took it all for granted.  WiP helped us to get the message across and show people exactly what kind of lives these youngsters lead.”

2015 chosen charities


Helping distressed families with young children deal with whatever life throws at them.

“Being chosen by the Leicestershire Women in Philanthropy was a huge boost to us and proved to be really invaluable.  As a result of drastic local government spending cuts we had lost grants that formed a large part of our annual income and without the support of local organisations such as WIP there was no way we would have survived.”


Improving the lives of all those affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence.


Supporting children under the age of 18 caring for a parent, disabled sibling, or other family member.

“Being chosen as a WiP charity was a wonderful experience for VASL.  As much as the funding that accompanied it, which enables us to put on a variety of extracurricular trips and activities for the Young Carers, the process really raised VASL’s profile locally.”


2014 chosen charities

Free, confidential therapeutic services for women and girls who have experienced sexual violence.

“By participating we have gained more than just the money….we’ve gained contacts and a feeling of being embedded.”

Providing social and leisure opportunities for disabled children.

“A great opportunity to raise awareness of our small charity across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. We gained the self-confidence to deliver a presentation in a range of venues as well as financial donations!”

Helping disadvantaged and disengaged young people to develop self-belief and motivation.

“We really enjoyed networking and meeting interesting people,  and have gained from making new contacts.  Just throw yourselves into it, it’s worth the time and investment!”


Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

WiP holds three or four events each year, during which we catch up with one another, hear updates from the three chosen charities, and entertain guest speakers. Many of our events take us ‘behind the scenes’ in Leicestershire and Rutland to places such as the Police or Fire Service HQ, John Lewis, Lumbers Jewellers, Stapleford Park, the University of Leicester as well as private houses or gardens.

All our events are generously sponsored: your membership fee goes entirely to local charities.


Becoming a Member

Becoming a Member

We are continually expanding our community

The WiP Fund asks for £500 a year or £41.66 per month from each of its members. £250 is invested to grow an endowment fund for local charities. The remaining £250 is given at an annual Awards Ceremony, each member deciding which of the three previously selected local charities to support.

If you would like to be part of Women In Philanthropy please complete and return the following form:

Wip joining form 2021

If you would like further information, see our contact details below:

E-mail: or alternatively contact Caroline Trace on 07767785438


Please note: if you would like to renew your existing WiP membership online, please visit: and select ‘Women in Philanthropy (£500 membership renewal)’ from the drop down list to pay via Paypal.


The Steering Group is made up of founding WiP members, who bring time, skills and contacts to help Women in Philanthropy succeed and grow. Occasionally steering group members move on, and new participants will be considered who have been a member of WiP for at least a year and so have a good understanding of how we work, and can help bring new members in.


Please read our full privacy statement here, which explains your rights and what we will do with any personal data we collect from you during the course of your membership. If you’d like to download a Communication Consent form, please find it below and return. Thank you.

WiP Privacy Policy 2018               GDPR consent form WiP



We look forward to hearing from you

E-mail: or alternatively contact Caroline Trace on 07767785438





Women in Philanthropy Annual Film Premiere 2020 at Curve, Leicester 

More than 100 guests attended our finale to WiP’s sixth year – our film premiere event at Curve on Wednesday 29th January. Hosted by Bishop Tim Stevens, the evening featured three short films sponsored and produced by De Montfort University highlighting the work of WiP’s three 2019-2020 chosen charities Out of Hours Rutland, Zinthiya Trust and Dear Albert.

After a welcome from David Ross of Curve Theatre, we heard from Steering Group Member Steph Morgan QPM, who explained how Women in Philanthropy works and why it is needed. Steph said,  

“The charities that we support are local, unsung charities. They work below the radar and help those in greatest need.” 

The film screenings were followed by three entertaining Q&A sessions hosted by Bishop Tim in which representatives from the charities spoke about their work and about their journey with the Women in Philanthropy. 

WiP Steering Group Members Caroline Trace and Vijay Sharma closed events by thanking everyone for supporting the night and announced the 2020-21 charities which WiP will be working with over the coming year – Money Advice Centre (‘MADMAC’), Eyres Monsell Club and Hospice Hope. 

Our WiP Film Premiere was kindly sponsored by the Anand & Sethi Family Charity Trust with the films sponsored by DMU, Dave Soden and Katy Green. 

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Women in Philanthropy Tea Party 2019

On Wednesday 28th August, the Women in Philanthropy hosted our annual tea party at Saddington Hall to thank our WiP charities past-and-present, members and sponsors. With cakes kindly provided by Fiona Cairns, guests enjoyed an afternoon drinking tea, tasting some delicious cakes and discussing philanthropy. 

Saddinton hall


Women in Philanthropy celebrate their 5th Anniversary at Nevill Holt Opera 

On the Friday 28th June 2019, we were delighted to celebrate our fifth anniversary with WiP members and guests at Nevill Holt. Sponsored by NFU Mutual Market Harborough, guests enjoyed delicious canapes and wine in this prestigious, historic venue. The sun was shining bright and provided the perfect light to showcase the beautiful gardens and sculptures to guests. Andy Bretherick, Head Gardener, conducted tours of the grounds and gave us some excellent gardening tips!

During the evening, we heard from David Ross, who kindly hosted us at Nevill Holt. He told us all about the inspirational work of Nevill Holt Opera – enriching lives and empowering young people through the arts. After this, we heard from WiP Steering Group members about the journey of Women in Philanthropy over the past five years and its aims for the future. This was followed by presentations from our three 2019/20 charities – Zinthiya Trust, Out of Hours Rutland and Dear Albert.

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Women in Philanthropy Tour of Leicester Cathedral 

On Tuesday 2nd April 2019 we had the pleasure of spending the morning looking around Leicester Cathedral. We heard about its history and had the opportunity to visit the tomb of Richard III.

This was the first event for the WiP charities 2019/20, who all spoke about the inspirational work that they do.

There were light refreshments on the day including cakes and biscuits which were kindly donated by Fiona Cairns, who is a member of WiP.

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Women in Philanthropy Annual Film Premiere 2019 at Curve, Leicester

More than 100 guests attended our finale to WiP’s fifth year – our film premiere event at Curve on Wednesday, March 13.

Hosted by Bishop Tim Stevens, the evening featured three short films sponsored and produced by De Montfort University highlighting the work of WiP’s three 2018-2019 chosen charities First Step Leicester, Park Lodge Project and The (Loughborough) Wellbeing Centre.

The film screenings were followed by three entertaining Q&A sessions hosted by Bishop Tim. We had some wonderful feedback from the event and are so grateful to everyone who came to support us.

“Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed the WiP event this evening at The Curve. The stories of the 3 charities were inspirational and very moving. And Bishop Tim was fantastic as always.”

“We thoroughly enjoyed last night, thank you so much for the invite.”

WiP steering group members Sally Bowie and Vijay Sharma closed events by thanking everyone for supporting the night and announced the 2019-2020 charities which WiP will be working with over the coming year – Dear Albert, Out of Hours Club Rutland and Zinthiya Trust.

Women in Philanthropy (WiP) selects three local charities to support each year, focusing on “unsung, unseen” groups working hard but quietly to keep our city and counties safe and thriving.

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Stapleford Christmas Event

On Thursday 6th December, the Women in Philanthropy held their Christmas event at Stapleford Park. This magnificent hotel country park hosted the event free of charge to support the three 2018 WiP charities, serving up prosecco, coffee and delicious cakes in their glorious Grinling Gibbons restaurant.

Mike Kapur OBE Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire and Dr Sarah Furness Lord Lieutenant of Rutland, who sits on the WiP Steering Group, attended the event as well as guests from across the Leicestershire and Rutland area as well as further afield, with some guests even travelling up from London for the event.WIP STAPLEFORD PARK (10)

Christmas had truly arrived at Stapleford Park; teddy bears lined the stairs, garlands graced the staircases and Christmas trees gleamed in the halls. Guests heard from Carolyn O’Sullivan, part of the Stapleford Park team, about Stapleford’s upcoming projects and future plans.

A particular treat for guests was the opportunity to hear from the Women in Philanthropy patron, the inspirational Jennifer Lady Gretton, who took guests on a journey exploring the history of Stapleford Park to her time living in this magnificent country house. Guests were particularly intrigued by the magical stories of Lady Gretton’s restoration of the miniature railway.



After this, guests heard from the three WiP groups of 2018 made presentations about the inspirational work that they do each and every day. Firstly, guests heard from Cas Beckett of First Step Leicester; an organisation run for male survivors of sexual abuse and rape. Secondly, guests heard from Michelle Calvert of the Park Lodge Project; a project that provides safe and supported accommodation for young homeless people between the ages of 16 and 25. Lastly, guests heard from Helen Carter of the Wellbeing Café; a project that supports vulnerable people with a range of mental health issues. All three groups made excellent and engaging presentations and guests had a chance to ask questions and talk to the groups during afternoon tea.



The Leicester Leicestershire & Rutland Community Foundation supports the Women in Philanthropy and helped to organise the event at Stapleford Park, along with members of the WiP Steering Group. Katy Green of the LLR Community Foundation says  “our local charitable and voluntary groups work so hard – and so economically – to meet local needs. They are often unsung and unseen; you won’t see appeals from them on TV this Christmas. Yet without their dedication, our city and counties would be so much the poorer. It is so fantastic to see the intelligent support that WiP gives them and those they help to the attention of a wide and influential audience.”

The next Women in Philanthropy event will be the end-of-year event at Curve Theatre; the three charities will showcase their films. At this event, the three 2019 charities will be announced to the audience.



Treasured Archives, University of Leicester

Set in the charming Council Rooms at the University of Leicester, WiP members enjoyed an evening viewing the beautiful Treasured Archives in October. The collection consisted of ancient manuscripts, tiny bibles and even a 16th Century recipe book. The guests also had an opportunity to hear WiP’s chosen charities of this year, and all the invaluable work that they are doing.

Treasured Archives Invitation

WiP, currently in its 5th year, has made a remarkable difference and to date has paid £54,000 in grants and invested £62,360 to create future support for local charitable groups.

Our next event is on Thursday 6th December at Stapleford Park, 3pm-5pm. Join us for tea and cake, and an informal talk from Lady Jennifer Gretton on the history of Stapleford Park.

If you would like to find out more about joining WiP or attend a future event to see what it’s about, please contact Katy Green, Chief Executive at the Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation on 0116 262 4804.






Women in Philanthropy Annual Film Premiere at Curve

DW_esnIX0AEMLTADespite the inclement weather, WiP welcomed over 100 guests to our annual film premiere at Curve on the cold evening of 26th February. Hosted generously once again by Maggie Philbin OBE, the evening saw members and supporters come together to enjoy each other’s company and view a screening of the DMU sponsored films WiP has produced for this year’s charities: Centre for Fun & Families, New Dawn New Day and The Evington Centre wards for Advanced dementia.

The event sees this WiP year drawing to a close, and we look forward to working with our next three chosen charities for 2018 – 2019 which were announced at Curve:

First Step Leicester, Park Lodge Project and The (Loughborough) Wellbeing Centre.




Photos courtesy of Bethany Campbell


Women in Philanthropy Christmas Party, Lumbers

IMG_1032WiP members and friends enjoyed a sparkling evening at Lumbers at the end of November, kindly introduced by our host and sponsor Dominic Gomersall. With the opportunity to browse the selection of fine jewellery available, fizz and nibbles, again guests were able to hear from and speak to this year’s charities.

If you would like to find out more about WiP or attend a future event please contact Katy Green, Chief Executive at the Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation on 0116 262 4804.









Melton Defence Animal Training Regiment

horseTo a beautiful backdrop on the outskirts of Melton Mowbray, WiP members enjoyed a visit to the Defence Animal Training Regiment in September, where they were treated to an historical overview of the facility and tour of the estate. This included a visit to the Equine and Veterinary Training Squadrons. This year’s three special charities also gave presentations.






Our Lady’s Convent School Loughborough hosts first event of new WiP year

IMG_0740Our first event of the year saw WiP members and new groups come together in the medieval cloisters and chapel of the beautiful Our Lady’s Convent School in Loughborough. Despite the poor weather, everyone enjoyed the venue and presentations which introduced the invaluable work of this year’s chosen charities: Centre for Fun & Families, New Dawn, New Day and The Evington Centre Ward for Advanced Dementia.

With canapes and Prosecco kindly provided by WiP steering group members, it was a lovely occasion. We hope you can join us for the next in September at the Melton Defence Animal Centre. Watch this space for more details!




Afternoon tea for WiP Charities at Saddington Hall

IMG_0685With cakes provided  by Fiona Cairns, who was commissioned to make the wedding cake for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, all WiP charities past and present enjoyed getting together with WiP members and sponsors on 17th May. Hosted by Steering Group Member Caroline Trace, the event was a great success. Sponsors Erskine Murray, Home Instead Market Harborough and The Hanley Trust were able to attend along with representatives from Curve who hosted our fantastic film premiere in February. Our next event will see this year’s new charities present for the first time in the beautiful surroundings of Our Lady’s Convent School, Loughborough.





Maggie Philbin OBE hosts Charity Film Premiere at Curve

Women in Philanthropy celebrated the finale of its third year with a red carpet film premiere at Curve, Leicester, hosted by Dr Maggie Philbin OBE.

Women in Philanthropy (WiP) selects three local charities to support each year, focusing on “unsung, unseen” groups working hard but quietly to keep our city and counties safe and thriving.

Attended by 130 guests, the event was a great success, and featured short films sponsored and produced by De Montfort University for WiP’s 2016-17 charities: The Bridge – Homelessness to Hope; New Futures, which helps vulnerable women and young people involved in or at risk of sexual exploitation and prostitution; and Sustainable Land Trust, which trains young people excluded from school in rural industries and environmental activities.


Leicestershire-born Maggie Philbin, herself a champion of local charities in between her TV and radio work and her support of TeenTech, which helps teenagers into the worlds of science and technology, hosted the evening and interviewed the charities live on stage.

“WIP is unique and ‘made in Leicestershire and Rutland’,” said Narynder Johal, WiP founder member. “Public funds are shrinking all the time, and private funds are a lifeline for these small charities, who do so much to keep our area a great place to live and work.”

“This is only the third year of our existence,” added Caroline Trace, also a founder member. “So it’s fantastic to welcome such a number of WiP members – with friends, partners and colleagues – to show what our charities achieve.”

Each WiP member gives £500 per annum, half of which is invested to create a sustainable fund to support local charities in the future. The other half is given to the three charities of the year.

WiP holds events and parties through the year, for members to meet the charities and each other. All events are sponsored to ensure membership money goes directly to the causes. Hosts and sponsors have included Police HQ, the Diamond Room at Lumbers Jewellers, Farndon Fields Farm Shop, John Lewis, DMU and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, and private houses and gardens.  The premiere at Curve was supported by local chocolatier Cocoa Amore, dairy & food services business Kirby & West and Insurance Broker Erskine Murray.

WiP’s 2017-18 year’s charities all work with mental health issues, from anxiety in children through to advanced dementia. Details of upcoming events and how to join are available on the WiP website

“The charities WiP supports are not household names, but they achieve a huge amount with a little money,” said Sally Bowie, previous High Sheriff of Leicestershire, and WiP founder member. “If they were no longer here, we would really notice the difference. We warmly welcome new members who share our ambition of supporting their work.”

Women In Philanthropy uses the charitable infrastructure of Leicestershire & Rutland Community Foundation, which sets up and manages charitable funds and foundations far less expensively than a standalone charitable foundation: if you would like to find out more about WiP or attend a future event please contact Katy Green, Chief Executive at the Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation on 0116 262 4804.