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We know when girls return to school after 7 months of isolating, the impact on their mental health will be visible. We need to support them.
2020 has been and continues to be an unprecedented time for all our school children. Being without the structure and routine of a school week, missing their friends and teachers and being denied an education will have long term effects for many. School is also a safe space to grow and develop both from an academic perspective and an emotional one, so stealing this time from them as young teenagers will show up in a less than positive way in their mind set, resilience and mental health savvy for years to come, if we do not act.
At Girls Out Loud we know for sure our teenage girls will need our support to unpack their new normal and deal with the fallout of so many mental health challenges they suffered with during this pandemic including loneliness, bereavement, anxiety and depression, frustration, domestic abuse, low self-esteem, separation and anger to name a few and we want to be there, ready and waiting with mentors, coaches, therapists and inspirational role models to help them get back to themselves and see the learnings in this time.
Our initial fund raising goal is £20k and this will allow us to offer extra support to the most vulnerable girls and deliver back to school workshops for all of our current Little Sisters, approx 100 girls.
Welcome, you have arrived at the multi-award winning social enterprise Girls Out Loud. We are dedicated to raising the aspirations of teenage girls in the UK. We are passionate about empowering girls to find their voice. Our programmes are all about embedding more confidence, emotional resilience, self-assurance and self-esteem. In turn, this leads to real aspiration, real change and long lasting success.
We want to inspire girls to believe in themselves, know they are enough and encourage them to find their inner gumption to make the right choices.
We create and deliver a range of early intervention programmes from 2 hours to 12 months in duration that do just that! We are also champions for teen girls and know our work makes a huge difference.
We hope you will join our movement and get involved as a volunteer, role model, mentor, coach, employer, fund raiser, ambassador, influencer, school or advocate.
Our girls are in the midst of a mental health crisis and they need us to show them a better way NOW!
If you are in any doubt about this take a glance at the alarming facts below…
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, author, coach, speaker, trainer and female champion Jane Kenyon. Jane had spent the previous 15 years as an entrepreneur in the personal development arena working exclusively with women and felt the need to expand her legacy to working with teen girls. At the time the UK had the highest teen pregnancy in Europe, low teen aspirations and mental health issues were just starting to peek around the corner in every school Pastoral meeting.
Fast forward 10 years and due to the dominance of social media, a society fixated on appearance with appalling body confidence and little movement on the role of women in society, teen girls are in the midst of a mental health crisis. Self-harming is at an all-time high, teen girl suicides are on the increase, grooming and porn has gone mainstream and 70% of girls experience cyber bullying. On top of this girls are now questioning careers due to low visibility of female role models and exam pressure and the fear of failure is putting them off even trying.
The mission of Girls Out Loud has now become more than a nice to have for the few. Our early intervention programmes empower girls to have a positive sense of self, to set personal boundaries, to believe they are worth more and harness their gumption – All necessary life skills if we are to make a dent in the unacceptable lack of parity across all sectors and all levels in the female talent pipeline.
We facilitate intervention programmes in schools from one day to 12 months in duration and in 2010 we launched a mentoring programme for teenage girls called BIG SISTER which involves us recruiting and training role models from diverse backgrounds 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/girlfriend, friends, family and education/career; Achieve better than expected exam results, are goal centric and have a more healthy external body image. Most importantly they stand up for themselves, their beliefs, their friends and family; know they are enough and live by our mantra…
This is the Girls Out Loud Pledge. All of our role model volunteers and the girls who participate in our programmes sign up to this and it is the cornerstone of all our work.
My Big Sister inspires me to be me and that’s enough. We can talk about anything.Little Sister Quote…
It’s great to have someone on my side to prove to me I am someone.Little Sister Quote…
I am more confident and if people are mean to me I ignore them or tell them to shut-up!Little Sister Quote…
My Big Sister encourages me to be better, she gives me short term goals and I keep getting merits and less referrals.Little Sister Quote…
My Big Sister reminds me who I am and how awesome I am.Little Sister Quote…
I’ve loved every minute of being a Big Sister. It’s such a joy to watch your little sister grow; to start believing in herself and realising she can go on to achieve and be anything she wants, just by being her brave bold and beautiful self. As a Big Sister you learn how your own insecurities are holding you back, and how to push them aside so you can realise your own potential. All it takes is an hour a month of talking, listening, and learning together to have an immeasurable impact on both you.Lisa Irons, Customer Strategy Manager, Co-op
Becoming a Big Sister really changed my life. I found the key messages in mentoring two young women were so relevant to my own life. I started to listen to my own advice, which in the end, proved very useful. I felt a sense of purpose whilst on the programme, this was something I could offer that was making a difference. I was also able to use the mentoring training and skills I got from the programme with my team.Loretta, ex Head of HR at Pladis Global (McVities) now EMEA Employee Lead at Bristol-Myers Squibb
I consider myself a strong coach and found through the Big Sister programme I was able to build my skill set through mentoring a different type of coachee. Softer, almost nurturing skills are an asset and often more difficult to get right. If you have ever tried negotiating with a teenager you will know that I developed this skill set in spades whilst encouraging my Little Sister to step outside her comfort zone and commit to trying something new.
Warburtons is a huge fan of the programme and without exception all of the women who have participated have benefited personally from the experience, alongside bringing a better version of themselves back to the organisation.Caroline Wood, HR Business Partner, Warburtons
Here (Kate) one of our current Big Sisters shares her views on the journey so far and sends a message to her Little Sister whilst in lockdown… When you sign up to be a Big Sister with Girls Out Loud, you commit to spending a year getting to know, and supporting, a teenage girl who […]Read more
In October, I’ll say goodbye to my Girls Out Loud mentee. Mentee sounds quite formal, but it doesn’t feel formal. Mentee sounds professional and distanced, and we spend loads of time looking at Dogs on Instagram. It’s a little more relaxed.There’s a special tie between us, knotted with a thin thread that we’ve spent time […]Read more
Last week a group of our Year 9 girls who have been participating in the Girls Out Loud Big Sister Mentoring Programme enjoyed a trip to the Co-op Head Office at 1 Angel Square in Manchester. Our Big Sister Local Lead and Stardom Coach, Sarra Smith, got in touch with the Co-op to tell them […]Read more
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