A New Way of Learning!

Covid 19 has had a significant impact on everyone, from the way we work to the way we socialise, we have all had to adapt.  The training offering here at Purple House has also had to adapt.  To make sure that we are continuing to provide you with relevant, topical and engaging training we have adapted not only how we train but what we train.

Purple House now offers the opportunity for remote training.

You can expect our usual offerings to be delivered using an online platform plus more.  Our core courses will continue to be delivered over a 5-6 week period using online forum discussions, access to online reading and visual resources, and coursework completed and submitted online.  All of this will be supported by weekly zoom sessions with your course tutor and volunteer learner support.

In addition to our usual core courses we are now offering non-accredited short courses that will offer learners the opportunity to gain an introduction to a particular subject or an opportunity to look at a topic in closer detail.   Each of these short courses has been well researched and compiled with learner’s needs in mind.  They are designed to be completed over 8 to 10 hours dependent on the course, with learners, once enrolled having access to the course for a minimum of 28 days to complete.  Here is what we are currently offering:

  • Self-Esteem V Confidence
  • What is Feminism?
  • Developing Your Cultural Intelligence
  • Wellbeing Today

By completing remote training, you will have more control over when and how you complete your learning.  This means you can complete your work on an evening after the kids are in bed, or after you’ve gotten home from work.  You can work faster or slower, it’s up to you and how you like to learn.

If you would like to find out more details, head over to our training page and have a look.  You can book a place using our online booking form.  If you have any questions,  don’t hesitate to contact us using the online form, chat facility or give us a call!  Someone will respond as soon as they are available.

Posted by Stacey McEvoy in News, 0 comments

20 years and £20million for women in Hull

Staff and volunteers from the Preston Road Women’s Centre in Hull – also known locally as the Purple House and Winner – are today celebrating 20 years of offering services to women and children across Hull along with the incredible cumulative fundraising total of more than £20million brought into the city and into women’s services since it opened.

The first purpose-built women’s centre in the UK, the Purple House was opened in October 2018 with a design which enhances the organisation’s ability to support women effectively and grow services according to women’s needs

The building has a low environmental impact to minimise ongoing running costs and many different types of spaces to be able to support the different services available and operating from the premises.

This pioneering design and build is just one of the achievements of the organisation over the last twenty years – achievements which have included:

  • Establishing itself as a multi-purpose anchor organisation for the community on Preston Road
  • Working with the Local Authority to bring 56 Empty Homes back into use
  • Establishing a not for profit family law firm, Affordable Justice, in 2016, the first of its kind in the country
  • Offering more than 200 safe homes for women and children across the city
  • Offering the Safe as Houses scheme for private landlords to invest ethically and offer their properties for use by the women’s centre
  • Developing plans for new-build properties to house vulnerable women
  • Winning a range of national awards for the quality and innovation of its services
  • Developing innovative social investment products in partnership with Big Society Capital and Social and Sustainable Capital
  • Supporting Women’s Sector organisations all over the UK to develop their own services and sustainable ways of operating
  • Bringing more than £20million of external investment into the city to deliver services, create jobs and contribute to the economic wellbeing of Hull

Preston Road Women’s Centre plans to go from strength to strength in the coming years – continuing to expand its reach, its services and its staff numbers to promote opportunities for women locally and nationally and support them to change their lives for the better.

Posted by Lisa Hilder in News

Winner teams up with social investors to offer grants and access to investment opportunities

We have been working with Big Society Capital and a range of grant funders, including most recently the Clothworkers Foundation, the John Laing Trust and the Mercers  to support women’s sector organisations across the UK to become more financially and operationally sustainable.

If you are interested in a grant to help you explore or implement the establishment of a property portfolio housing vulnerable women and children including those fleeing violence and abuse, then this grant fund could be for you

Based on our successful model of dispersed accommodation across Hull and research undertaken in 2018 by Big Society Capital, an investment fund of more than £30million has been created to purchase properties in communities across the country which will be leased to feminist women’s sector organisations to support them in their work helping women and children recover from the trauma of violence and abuse.

We also work with Social and Sustainable Capital to support organisations to access their SASH Fund which offers up to £125million to help organisations purchase properties to offer supported accommodation to vulnerable client groups.

Alongside this investment fund, a range of grant funders has provided grant monies, managed by Winner, to support the local organisations to explore the feasibility of managing their own leased or purchased properties and help them to implement their schemes – this grant can fund consultancy support from Winner and “on the ground” capacity for WSOs to take forward their plans.

Our grants panel has adopted a feminist funding approach guided by a set of principles aimed at promoting a gendered approach to grant making. The panel comprises members from Big Society Capital, The Clothworkers Foundation, The Social Investment Consultancy, Winner and the Women’s Aid Federation as well as an independent member with experience in grant making

This innovative approach is trialling gender-lens investing in the social investment world and aims to get much needed resource to grass roots organisations relying on traditional grants and contracts and enable them to move towards a more sustainable operational and financial position

The grant has been operating for two years now and has helped 13 women’s sector organisations to explore the implications of using social investment to grow their property portfolios with  6 of those decifing to pursue leasing or purchasing of their own properties

Typical grant size is £30 000 to £40 000 in two stages,  firstly to assess feasibility and secondly to pay for capacity to make the plans operational

If you would like to know more, please e-mail

Posted by Lisa Hilder in About Us, News

Our response to Covid 19

In light of the current Covid-19 advice from the Government Purplehouse will continue to provide services, however most of this will be done over the phone. Please contact us on 01482 790310 we will take some details and may have to ring you back. If you have a support worker here please ring them on the mobile number they have provided to you. Alternately please use this link to use our automated contact service.

Posted by Lisa Hilder in News

Our national work


We have been working recently with Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) and Big Society Capital to develop new ways of funding housing work for women fleeing violence and abuse

We co-produced a new loan finance product with SASC which helped us to draw down £2 million to buy 33 properties across the city of Hull which provide new homes for women rebuilding their lives after the trauma of violence and abuse. This product has been so successful that it has been taken up by other organisations around the country to help them in their work to provide housing for many different client groups.

You can read more about SASC’s work here

As well as developing new products with SASC, we have been working with Big Society Capital (a national provider of social investment funds) to advise on the development of their new Vulnerable Women’s Housing Fund, due to be launched later in 2019

Below is a video clip of our Treasurer Lisa Hilder, explaining a bit more about the women’s centre’s work and how we are contributing to addressing gender disadvantage locally and nationally

Posted by Lisa Hilder in News

Purple Build coming on!

Only 97 days to go before our new purpose-built women’s centre is finished. We can hardly wait!

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National Volunteer of the Year Award!

Our Trustee and Treasurer, Lisa Hilder won the prestigious Volunteer of the Year Award at the Third Sector Excellence Awards last month.

Lisa was nominated by the staff and volunteers and the centre in recognition of her work to raise funds and develop services at the organisation over the last 18 years.

During that time she has raised £12.7million of funds for women’s services in Hull and has helped to ensure that the women’s centre doors stay open to the thousands of women and children who need its services each year

Lisa was thrilled and delighted with the honour and the national profile it gives to the excellent work carried out by all the services at the centre

Read more about Lisa’s award here

Posted by admin_eric9023 in News

The Purple Build Begins!

The Purple Build got off to a great start this week with a ground breaking ceremony on site, marking the start of a nine month long construction process to provide a new, environmentally sustanable larger building from which to provide our services.

Local Councillors, staff and volunteers from the centre as well as our construction partners Hobson and Porter celebrated today the first steps to providing the only purpose built women’s centre in the UK for the last twenty years.

Posted by admin_eric9023 in News

Charity Governance Award winners

Success at UK Charity Governance Awards 2017

On May 24th 2017 at a Gala reception at the beautiful Clothworkers House in central London, we were awarded a national charity governance award for “Embracing Opportunity and Harnessing Risk”, recognising the confident and robust approach taken by our Trustees in developing our portfolio of safe accommodation for women and children fleeing violence and abuse.

The award comes with the prize of a £5,000 unrestricted grant which will be used towards the construction of our new purpose-built women’s centre on Preston Road – the first of its kind in the UK for 20 years.

Councillor Mary Glew, who supported the Charity’s application said “ I am delighted that this innovative and forward thinking local charity has been recognised nationally – they are great ambassadors for Hull”.

Watch our Winners video story here

WINNER was part of a shortlist of charities representing a diverse range of subject areas including LGBTQ, prisoners, homelessness, medical care and support, disability services, the arts, and more. A 20-strong judging panel shortlisted the entries and selected winners in each of seven categories. The winners were announced at the official awards reception in London on 24 May 2017, with former cabinet minister Sir Vince Cable delivering a keynote speech.

Michael Howell, Chair of the Trusteeship Committee at the award organisers The Clothworkers’ Company, said, “Congratulations to our outstanding winners – they provide the charity sector with sterling examples of what can be achieved with excellent governance.

“Highly-skilled trustees, diverse boards and their innovative use of digital technology are all areas that the House of Lords Select Committee on Charities has recommended as a focus for the sector. Therefore, we are delighted that our winners provide real-life examples of how that can be achieved. I encourage charities to download our free e-book which is full of inspiring stories from these superb shortlisted charities – including, of course, our winners! I hope this will provide inspiration for new journeys towards great governance.”

The free e-book is now available to download at

The Charity Governance Awards are organised by The Clothworkers’ Company – a City Livery company that supports trusteeship initiatives – in partnership with not-for-profit consultancy NPC (New Philanthropy Capital), volunteer matching charity Reach, and recruitment specialists Prospectus.

For more details visit You can follow the awards on Twitter using hashtag #charitygov17. Entry for the 2018 Charity Governance Awards will open in October 2017.

Posted by admin_eric9023 in News