Being a teenage girl in the world today is a challenge. Attempts to retain an element of individuality are threatened on a daily basis by the media, celebrity culture, premature sexualisation, peer pressure and bullying, lack of positive, strong female role models, privacy invasion and misuse of the internet, ladette behaviour and increase in aggressive behaviour amongst girls, to name a few.
This backdrop is leading to a generation of teenage girls arriving at puberty with a full on identity crisis. Eating disorders, promiscuity and teen pregnancies, body dysmorphia, self-harming, binge-drinking and substance abuse, panic attacks and exam anxiety, are just some of the symptoms apparent in their behaviour.
Not surprisingly we now have a confused generation, disengaging from education and the world around them which leads to low aspirations, poor body image, fickle self esteem and a confused identity.
Girls Out Loud is a UK based social enterprise set up in 2009 by serial entrepreneur and inspirational speaker/coach Jane Kenyon and business woman, Ambassador for enterprise and media personality Claire Young. In 2010 they were joined by Rachel Ward Lilley a teenage champion, communications professional and mountaineer. The team have a mission to raise the aspirations of young girls between the ages of 13-18. The organisation facilitates intervention programmes in schools from one day to 12 months in duration and in 2010 we launched a nationwide mentoring programme for teenage girls called BIG SISTER which involves us recruiting and training role models from a diverse background to mentor teenage girls for a period of 12 months. The emphasis of all our activity is to embed a more empowering mindset in girls, which in turn, reconnects them to education, helps them achieve exam success and broaden their aspirations, encourages them to find their individual voice, take risks, make better life decisions, improve their self image and become role models for future generations.
To empower and inspire teenage girls in the UK and beyond to have confidence, self belief, emotional resilience and a positive self image which, in turn, supports them to think big, embrace risk and reach for the stars.
So far, the girls that have been through our programmes have more clarity on the big picture in terms of their career and place in the world; Recognise the pitfalls of teen pregnancy and no longer see this as a career option; Have higher self esteem and therefore make better choices in relation to their peer group, boyfriend, friends, family and education/career; Achieve better than expected exam results, are goal centric and have a more healthy external body image.
Alongside our work as champions and campaigners for teenage girls and extensive media work at our launch in 2010 our product portfolio concentrates on 4 key programmes:
Watch the video to find out more.
“A group of Year 9’s participated in the core Discovery Day at Cockburn Performing Arts School, Leeds.
The girls were given the opportunity to reflect on their school and home lives in a safe environment and it was a new and refreshing way to get across messages we as teachers are continually trying to embed in our practise. It certainly makes all the difference when the girls get the chance to talk to new people that are not their teachers about sensitive subjects like self image and family life.
All the women that took part from Girls Out Loud were wonderful role models for the girls and almost instantly created positive relationships with them. The conversations were valuable and supportive and it was impressive how honest they managed to get the girls to be. This can only be put down to the impressive skills of the women taking part; our girls felt totally comfortable and at ease.
The day was a total success in every way possible and the girls came away feeling empowered and knowledgeable about how the move forward.”Cockburn Performing Arts School – DISCOVERY DAY
“We thoroughly enjoyed the whole day. It was both interesting and fulfilling to witness the girls ‘develop’ their confidence as the day went on. Those who came in with a wary look on their faces as they entered the room left with smiles, giggles and they seemed to be walking a LOT taller. On the way back in the mini bus the girls were buzzing about their experiences and didn’t stop yacking to each other. Top marks to Jane and team for an amazing day.”Ashton Community College – DISCOVERY DAY
“We had an amazing day, you could see the girls develop in confidence as the day went on and we can’t wait to see Jane and Claire in 12 months time to read our pledges and see if we have lived up to them. Thank you.”St Mary’s Catholic College – DISCOVERY DAY
It has helped me grow as a person and I now talk about things more openly.Little Sister Quote…
It was really awesome and my Big Sister was cool and non-judgemental which helped a lot.Little Sister Quote…
My Big Sister helped me progress better through school and make new friends.Little Sister Quote…
My Little Sister is a good girl, but has a difficult home life. Both her parents are alcoholics so together with her 2 siblings she is living with her young Aunt who also has her own children, so getting her voice heard is a challenge. It has been a real eye opener for me working with her but I have loved it.Nicola Williams, Corporate Sales Manager, Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Just over a year ago I agreed to become a Big Sister with Girls Out Loud. Part of me was a little apprehensive being the mother of 3 boys, to which I was told : “Yes, but you are a girl!”
It has been an absolute delight getting to know my Little Sister , Sameerah’s personality and watching her confidence blossom over the past year. We have enjoyed sharing experiences, not to mention a few giggles at the personal safety group event! Chatting our way through 6th Form and future career choices. Enjoying the moment when Sameerah walked in after the summer holidays proudly wearing her ‘Lead Pupil’ badge.
None of this would have been a part of my life had I decided not to go ahead and I wouldn’t now be looking forward to being with Sameerah for her Big Sister Graduation in January.Michelle Brown, Home maker, volunteer, fund raiser
Emily Brinnand our new Lead coach shares her thoughts on the game….. “I’ve never seen so many women on prime time TV before! Is this really happening?” was the question that fell out of my mouth while watching England’s first game in the Women’s World Cup against Scotland last week. Thankfully my friend reassured me […]Read more
Judging by the number of enquiries arriving in the Girls Out Loud inbox at the moment it would appear every female University student in the UK is writing a thesis on body confidence! Over the past 12 months I have been asked to comment, provide content and resources, spare 2 hours to be interviewed and […]Read more
Today I had the privilege of taking part in a ‘Role Model Relay’ with Girls Out Loud. This is an organisation who seek to inspire teenage girls to have confidence, self belief, resilience and positive self image. To encourage them to think big, embrace risk and reach for the stars. All things I think we […]Read more
By Sarah Jane Thoms, Big Sister at Girls Out Loud…. As part of the ‘twelve days of Christmas’ initiative, 10 little sisters from Girls Out Loud’s Big Sister Programme were invited to PLT’s HQ for an afternoon of girl power. The girls were ecstatic to be spending time at the fashion giant’s home and I […]Read more
24% of young people are depressed – because of social media 1 in 4 girls will self-harm before they leave secondary school – because of social media Girls are obsessed with their appearance – because of social media Girls are now more aggressive and mean – because of social media 80% of girls will be […]Read more
Jessica has just completed a year as a Big Sister at a Manchester school. This is the speech she made to her Little Sister & the rest of the room at their graduation event. Where do I start? When I first heard about this project to become a ‘Big Sister’ I looked in to what […]Read more
https://vimeo.com/282643668 Through the wonderful organisation Girls Out Loud, I have just completed a year as a mentor to a 13 year old girl. This wasn’t part of the plan, when asked, my inner voice screamed “Noooo!”, but having done it, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Not for the warm fuzzy feelings we associate […]Read more
I’m a 30 year-old-youngest-of-four, with parents the other side of 60…. And earlier this year, I became a big sister. There have been many plus points to taking on this new title; one of which was definitely the raised eyebrows I caused when telling people I’d just gained a little sis. In fact, your eyebrows […]Read more
Loretta Smith is Head of HR & Shared Services at Pladis Global (McVities to you and me). Here she shares her Big Sister experience. Becoming a Big Sister with Girls Out Loud is one of the best decisions that I’ve made, for lots of reasons. Knowing that I’ve made a difference to a teenage girl’s […]Read more
As with every Big Sister programme, watching the Little Sisters begin to realise their potential is always an incredible feeling. Last month, the Little Sisters from our current programme at Middleton Technology school took part in a workshop, hosted by technology firm UKFast, exploring how they can use social media to express their creativity. Led […]Read more
Launching a Big Sister programme always fills the Girls Out Loud team with excitement. On the morning of the launch at Albion Academy, it’s safe to say everyone was filled with nerves. It’s a big deal for a teenage girl to agree to open up to someone, especially to a relative stranger. It wasn’t just […]Read more