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
Middleton Technology School in Rochdale becomes the 36th school to step up and engage Girls Out Loud. Our Big Sister programme launched in school in May following a Role Model Relay event where we introduced over 100 girls in Year 8 to 35 awesome female role models. 20 Little Sisters will now start a year-long […]Read more
TOXIC FRIENDSHIPS Over the past 12 months I have been inundated with pleas from parents at the end of their tether as they try to support their teenage girls navigate through the complex minefield that is friendship. The most reoccurring questions are….. Why are girls so mean? What’s with these yoyo friends? How can they […]Read more
It seems like every week there’s a new study out telling us how difficult it is to be a teenage girl today. Just in the past year, we’ve heard how teenage girls in the UK are among the most miserable in the world, that their mental wellbeing is worsening and that some girls as young […]Read more
We were delighted to see an article in the Oldham Chronicle about a few of our ex Little Sisters, Ellie and Dione picking up the mantle to continue our work in their school, after our contract expired. Girls at Oldham Oasis Academy decided to establish a student-led mentoring scheme where Year 10 girls support year […]Read more
One of our Big Sisters at Blackburn Central High School, Police Officer Louise Dunn shares her experience and personal journey of being a Big Sister to Alix… “It’s so satisfying to know that just being there for a teenage girl can have such an impact on her life. Just to notice small changes in her […]Read more
YES I AM FAT AND?…….. First let me wish you all a rocking 2017 and start my year with a pretty personal blog. I never discuss my body image as I do not see it’s relevance however…. For the past week I have been in the midst of a media storm after I dared to […]Read more
GROWING UP A GIRL IN THE UK – NO THANKS! I feel compelled to put pen to paper about our girls this week. Over the past month the press have gone into meltdown over several new research reports highlighting the challenges of growing up a girl in the UK. Clearly as a teen girl champion […]Read more
This month sees us say a temporary goodbye to our School Engagement & Liaison Manager, Katherine Birch as she starts her maternity leave. Hopefully Katherine will return to us within the next 18 months and her energy and ‘I can’ attitude will certainly be missed at Girls Out Loud HQ. I know all our Big […]Read more
Paige is a Big Sister on our programme at Blackburn Central High and has spent the past 6 months in a mentoring relationship with her Little Sister Ruckaya. Unfortunately due to a job move Paige has to step back this month so we asked her to share her journey as even though she has to […]Read more
This month another set of statistics hit my desk that made me flinch and know for certain we are in the right space at the right time. In the past year suicides among teen girls have risen by a third; the number of teens dealing with depression and anxiety has shot up by 75% in […]Read more
A few months ago Jane and the team at Blackburn Central High School delivered our brand new 2 hour, interactive workshop THE GIRL CODE to the girls and mentors on our Big Sister programme. Having repeated this at Blessed Edward Jones Catholic High School this month for another group of Big and Little Sisters the […]Read more
A message from our founder, Jane Kenyon: Anyone who thinks running a not for profit or charity is somehow less stressful or challenging than a commercial operation has obviously never done it or had the benefit of serious financial start-up capital or many wealthy donors! My resilience is tested every day. Growing a business where […]Read more