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.
The Big Sister programme has really inspired the 20 girls from BCHS. They always ask if their Big Sister is still coming in, they are really excited about meeting up with them. All the role models are inspirational in their own way, giving the girls from BCHS that big sister relationship that most have them have been missing. The coordination from both Rachel & Wendy is been second to none, and all the Big Sisters always turn up with a beaming smile which is great to see.
Keep up the amazing work!Gary Chinery, Year 10 Head, Blackburn Central High School
Girls Out Loud has captured the hearts and minds of all the girls on the Big Sister programme. Impact on progress and achievement, self esteem and attendance are evident and measurable. A fantastic programme that supports the young girls, helps them understand their potential and begin their journey.Joanne Egerton, Assistant Head Teacher, Albion Academy, Salford
The Big Sister programme has been a fantastic experience for the 19 girls who took part and completed their graduation at Media City, Salford. Throughout the year long initiative the girls gained in confidence, received careers advice and most importantly gained some real friendships with inspiring and successful local women who gave so much time and commitment to the project. It was wonderful to see the girls grow, not just in confidence but in their self belief and aspirations for the future. The project was extremely well run and we would wholeheartedly recommend it to other schools.Julie York, Director of Community Development, Harrop Fold School, Salford
I have just spent a year as a Big Sister and really enjoyed the experience. I have spent an hour a month with a lovely Year 10 girls listening and discussing all sorts of topics. At first she was very shy and didn’t like to put her hand up in class but by the end of the programme it was wonderful to see how far her self-confidence had grown and she had arranged a few meetings with the head teacher to discuss her learning and work experience. I have also met some truly inspirational women on this programme, made some friends and learnt some new things from my Little Sister. It has been a year of personal growth for me too and I have loved it!Gail Hounslea, MD, Wardworth Ltd
Working with GOL is a journey and evokes all your emotional spectra, for the girls and because of the girls. The work teaches you the importance of never giving up, everyone should have the choice to understand their full potential and by recognising this in others you gently tap into your own. It has been my privilege to get to know some amazing young people and inspirational women and in doing so become aware, that by truly listening to their stories, you can help them open up their world.Linda Willows, Head of Legal and Business Management – Brother UK Ltd
The Big Sister programme exceeded all expectations. I’m honoured to have been a part of the project for a year. My little sister taught me so much about her world and taught me so much about myself. Not only did I play a small part in the development of this teenager, she taught me what resilience, honesty and bravery can be. I’m thrilled to say that I have made a friend for a life and that I’m a mentor to a young a girl that I believe in unconditionally.Hattie Pearson XFM Radio DJ, voice over artist, club promoter
I cannot even begin to count the reasons for why being a part of the Big Sister programme has been so beneficial to me since signing up in 2014. Not only have I had the opportunity to meet, network and train with some wonderful women from so many different walks of life, but I have gained the most amazing Little Sister, who has been as much an inspiration to me through her development and achievements as I hope I have been for her. I am delighted to be joining the programme once again in 2015.Jo Watson, Head of Education and Partnerships, Onside Sports Education
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
Girls Out Loud are launching in the lively city of Liverpool. Our launch event is on Wednesday 20th May 2015.
If you have ANY connections in Liverpool that you feel may be able to support our arrival in the city, please email Jane direct on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will invite them to our launch in May. This includes potential Big Sisters; companies that would be interested in supporting our work; schools; FE Institutions; public sector funders; trusts and legacy funding organisations, women only networks and any movers and shakers who should know of our work.
Self harming used to be a pretty rare and isolated symptom of more serious psychological pain, however today it is reaching epidemic levels amongst our young girls aged 11-14. Our Founder Jane Kenyon reviews the evidence…… It is estimated by mental health professionals 1 in 4 girls will self harm before they leave school and […]Read more
Having spent the past 10 years working exclusively with women and teenage girls Jane’s voice has credibility and validity and her passion for potential is contagious. Jane has lived a real life, packed with challenges, highs and lows and is well respected for her honesty, authenticity and inspiration. She is a sought after speaker, with […]Read more
Our Girls Arrive at Graham & Brown for some creative fun! In November last year a group of Big and Little Sisters from our programme at Blackburn Central High School were treated to an interactive creative workshop hosted by our key sponsors Graham & Brown, internationally acclaimed manufacturers of wallpaper, wall art and paint. The […]Read more
Girls get excited at cap and gowns- selfies all round! Over the mentoring year the relationship that develops between Big and Little Sister is a joy to watch and nowhere is this more apparent that at our final event – The Graduation. We go all out to make sure this is a memorable day for […]Read more
Hattie (centre) and her speakers get ready to inspire 20 awesome role models arrived at Albion Academy on 15 January to inspire Year 8 girls to think big, believe in their dreams and reach for the stars. Our Role Model Relay event hosted for the first time by one of our top Ambassadors XFM radio […]Read more
We know that once you become a Big Sister you cannot help but feel inspired by the big vision of Girls Out Loud, in fact the number of Big Sisters who stay on for another year is on the rise so we wanted to create a network where Big n Little Sisters could network and […]Read more
If you have ANY connections in Liverpool that you feel may be able to support our arrival in the city, please email Jane direct on email@example.com we will invite them to our launch in May. This includes potential Big Sisters; companies that would be interested in supporting our work; schools; FE Institutions; public sector funders; […]Read more
Our warmest congratulations go to Little Sister, Gemma, on her appointment as Head Girl of Oasis Academy Oldham. Her achievement is especially heartening since, when we first met, she was shy and reluctant to speak out, hiding her face – along with her cleverness and creativity – behind her long hair. But Gemma, with the […]Read more
It was my passion for walking that led me to the idea of legging it from Manchester to London via the canal towpaths but, in case you should think I’m completely crazy, I also sought sponsorship as a way of rolling out more programmes to work with more girls. By the time I set off […]Read more
Now, with IWD fast approaching, is a good time to remind ourselves of the theory of synergy. What? If we consider that women – half the world’s population – are struggling for equality of opportunity with men – the other half of the population, then it is obvious that humanity is not working harmoniously to […]Read more
At our last Role Model Relay session we introduced 100 girls to some terrific women. Among those who stood to speak were a barrister, a DJ and radio presenter and a top-notch shoe designer – demonstrating, once more, that girls can be whatever they set their minds to. All our marvellous role models engaged with […]Read more
December 2013 saw the successful culmination of our third Big Sister programme when our twenty brave Little Sisters from Harrop Fold School made a big, joyful splash at their graduation. In a lively ceremony, hosted by the University of Salford at their Media City studios, the girls celebrated their achievement gleefully with songs, speeches, certificates […]Read more