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Works 4 Women (W4W) is a partnership between Edinburgh Women’s Aid and Shakti Women’s Aid that provides employability support for women who are using our services.

Referrals to this service can only be made by Edinburgh Women’s Aid (EWA) workers and it is only open to current EWA clients. 

About the project

Employment for women who have experienced domestic abuse is often key to their empowerment, allowing them to build financial independence and self-esteem. However,

survivors often face different kinds of barriers from other job seekers, such as homelessness, involvement in courts, and diminished self-regard. W4W aims to provide the support needed to help women increase their confidence and financial independence.


W4W works to:

  • Identify and address practical and personal barriers to financial independence
  • Identify participants’ employment aspirations and the steps required to meet those aspirations
  • Identify and fulfil training needs
  • Connect with individuals and partner organisations that can help participants fulfil their goals
  • Support participants in gaining the experience necessary to pursue their employment goals
  • Support participants in taking up education, training, and voluntary opportunities or employment

W4W also aims to:

  • Increase confidence
  • Overcome social isolation
  • Improve interpersonal skills
  • Improve motivation

We offer many activities that help women connect, building confidence and skills, through weekly group workshops and 1:1 individual support, as well as creative activities.

1:1 Support

W4W offers individual women support and guidance on their path to employment. This can include support in creating/updating CVs; supporting job/college applications; organising volunteer/work placements; advice on career choices/next steps/referral routes; researching opportunities for women according to individual goals/plans; help with job searching; referral to other agencies/organisations; and/or English tuition. We have also paired participants with mentors from companies like State Street and Baillie Gifford.

Group Workshops

Group support is holistic in approach in order to address the complex needs of the women, and can be divided into soft skills like confidence building, personal and social development, health and wellbeing etc, and more targeted support with job searching skills like financial management, CV workshops, interview skills etc.

In addition, we also partner with a variety of external organisations such as Smartworks, Money Advice Scotland, Skills Development Scotland and others, who provide guest speakers. We are very participant-led in our approach and take on board what the women want in their groups, giving them opportunities to request particular topics and themes.

Creative Activities

Additional to our employability groups, W4W also offers regular creative projects within the programme. Participants learn new creative skills, and also have the chance to improve transferable skills like team working, communications, collaboration, decision making, negotiation and speaking in groups.

For example, W4W has partnered with Stills Studio, Media Education and the Scottish Poetry Library in previous years to run a creative photography project, a video making project, and the publication of a poetry book written by W4W women. The image above is from the photography exhibition.

Women have responded overwhelmingly positively to our surveys:

“After support from W4W do you…” Yes
Feel more ready/motivated for work 96%
Feel more self-aware 86%
Feel better able to communicate 86%
Feel more in control of everyday life 82%
Feel more confident 82%
Feel less anxious 82%
Feel less isolated 86%


For more information about the programme, please contact us at


Please note that referrals can only be made internally by EWA.  

We are extremely grateful to State Street Bank, the Charles Hayward Foundation, Agnes Hunter Trust, the Walter Scott Giving Group, the Tampon Tax, The Big Give and individual donors, all of whom have supported this project.