Supporting the younger generation
Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000
Why is Inspired Women unique?
Inspired Women is a unique project created by social enterprise Inspired Youth. Using female professionals as mentors, Inspired Women is a volunteer network that supports activities in schools working with young women. With the support from the AVIVA Community Fund, it has the potential to become one the leading employer projects focusing on young women in East Anglia. From the work already done, young women are feeling inspired, and overcoming personal battles with self confidence, going onto to achieve success both in their personal lives and their careers.
What would the AVIVA Community Fund enable?
Inspired Women creates the opportunity for Business Women to spend time sharing their journeys, their successes and their personal challenges, with a small group of young women. The focus point of the project is to get the mentors to reflect on who inspired them at a young age, and thereby understand that they can become an inspirational influence for young women of today.
Having run Inspired Women in schools for the last 12 months, we want to expand the reach of the project. We want to continue to work with young women in High School and College, to build on their self confidence and aspirations at a time when they are at a critical point in their education. We also want to expand our work into working with disadvantaged young women who have left education and not been able to secure further training or employment. But critically, we want to take this project into Junior Schools, working with young girls at a time when they are transitioning into High School.
In order to facilitate this expansion, we want to create a 'Train the Trainer' programme to expand the delivery network to run more workshops, but also increase the level of engagement from the female business community across a wider age group.
Our entry is to fund the development of Inspired Women, creating more delivery roles, and working closely with the Schools and Youth Charities to identify those who would best benefit. We would look to engaging with around 300 young women over a year, from Junior School age through to early adulthood.
How will the programme be delivered and sustained?
Inspired Women has a growing number of supporters ranging from self employed women, to major employers allowing their female staff to support the project. Activities are currently lead by a trained facilitator, who encourages the conversations between the young women and the female mentors, structured around a journey that builds their confidence and aspirations over a typical 8 week timeframe.
As part of the programme, each volunteer mentor is provided with safeguarding training, having already passed safeguard checks. The funding covers a continuous programme of training for both new and existing volunteers to support the project.
Following the success of the first year, Inspired Women has now established an annual conference called the 'Big Conversation'. This event has been the catalyst for future developments, and a great opportunity for those who have been involved to share their experiences, and for those new to explore being involved. This conference is helping raise the profile, and create the sustainable network that will carry this project into the future.
What are the main societal impacts?
The first key impact is the raising of aspirations of young women, specifically those in rural areas and areas of economic deprivation. From those that have participated there has been an increase in attendance, and behaviour in schools, alongside some achieving recognition such as become Head Girl of their school, or going onto to secure further employment and training.
Secondly, raising the awareness among female professionals of the challenges young women face today, and their role in being inspirational role models. We have a waiting list of women pledging their support to get involved.
Inspired Youth Projects Ltd
Location: Norfolk, United Kingdom
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