Project aims to help young women make a difference

Midweek Visiter - - Scene By You -

GIRL­GUID­ING North West is em­pow­er­ing young women in guid­ing through the ground­break­ing Ac­tion for Change project to take pos­i­tive ac­tion in their com­mu­ni­ties and be­yond.

Twenty girls and young women aged 14 to 25 from across the re­gion at­tended an in­spi­ra­tional week­end which skilled them to cre­ate change and build a fairer world.

Sup­ported by the Es­mée Fair­bairn Foun­da­tion, the project is an­other step for­ward in the char­ity’s work to en­able girls to be a pow­er­ful force for good.

Sarah Wol­sten­holme, aged 16, from South­port, will be mak­ing a difference in her com­mu­nity af­ter join­ing Ac­tion for Change, the UK’s largest girl-led ad­vo­cacy net­work set up by Girl­guid­ing.

Sarah took part in a se­ries of work­shops at a three day event held at Wad­dow Hall in Clitheroe from Septem­ber 8-10.

The ses­sions, co-pro­duced by the Es­mee Fair­bairn Foun­da­tion and Girl­guid­ing, gave Sarah the chance to de­velop the skills re­quired to put a project to­gether to re­ally make an im­pact on the lives of girls and young women in their com­mu­ni­ties.

Sarah also re­ceived ex­pert ad­vice from cam­paigner Chella Quint who gave an in­spi­ra­tional talk about her ex­pe­ri­ences and suc­cesses as a change maker and in­flu­encer.

Ac­tion for Change aims to give young women in guid­ing the skills, con­fi­dence and on­go­ing sup­port they need to speak up about the is­sues that mat­ter to them, en­abling them to build a fairer so­ci­ety, play their part in chang­ing their com­mu­ni­ties for the bet­ter and creat­ing the largest girl-led ad­vo­cacy net­work in the UK.

Sarah said: “I want to cam­paign to get more girls into engi­neer­ing as I am the only girl in my class at school with 21 boys.”

Cam­paigner Chella Quint is a men­stru­a­tion ed­u­ca­tor and founder of #pe­ri­od­pos­i­tive and has lent her sup­port to Girl­guid­ing North West’s lat­est project to en­cour­age UK girls and young women to take ac­tion on is­sues they care about.

She said: “It’s been re­ally special work­ing with the Ac­tion for Change project.

“Their recog­ni­tion of my cam­paign­ing has en­cour­aged me to reach out as a role model to mem­bers of Girl­guid­ing and share ways they can chal­lenge menstrual taboos.

“Cam­paign­ing for #pe­ri­od­pos­i­tive is all about chang­ing the con­ver­sa­tion around men­stru­a­tion and chal­leng­ing taboos us­ing hu­mour, craftivism and ad-bust­ing.”

“I want young peo­ple to know that ac­tivism can be fun – if peo­ple are laugh­ing, they’re learn­ing.”

A spokesper­son for the Es­mée Fair­bairn Foun­da­tion added: “We are ex­cited to sup­port Girl­guid­ing’s Ac­tion for Change project, which will em­power hun­dreds of girls and young women to take ac­tion on the so­cial is­sues that mat­ter to them.

“It will en­sure that young women’s voices are heard, and are able to con­trib­ute to a more just and in­clu­sive so­ci­ety in the UK.”

Girl­guid­ing North West mem­ber Sarah Wol­sten­holme, 16, with re­gion chief com­mis­sioner Julie Bell

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