Bite-size social action with our EmpowHER programme
Helen Killingley, one of Spirit’s Grant and Learning Managers, took a trip to Chorley to visit an EmpowHER group who were learning about the LGBT+ community in the run-up to Chorley’s second ever Pride.
Helen, along with Jason Flynn from the National Lottery Community Fund, visited a group based at the Inspire Youth Zone youth centre in Chorley, which is in the process of organising its second annual Pride celebration.
EmpowHER engages young women and girls between the ages of 10 and 20 in the North West, the West Midlands and the South West of England. In Chorley, the project targets two age groups: those in transition from primary to secondary education and those leaving secondary education for further education, training or work, as these have been identified as periods where self-esteem tends to be lowest.
The group took part in an LGBT+ information workshop, aimed at understanding the history of the LGBT+ community, which is itself rooted in social action. The group followed UK Youth’s social model, which encourages them to think about themselves, their community and then their world, connecting all three through social action.
They learned about the language and flags of the LGBT+ community, before thinking about their treatment in the news and in everyday life, and were encouraged to reflect and empathise.
The session culminated in the girls making the decision to support the LGBT+ community by writing personal messages of encouragement and solidarity for Pride-goers, which will be handed out by British Red Cross staff at Manchester Pride.
Helen said: “It was an inspiring day. I was amazed at the girls’ energy and enthusiasm to learn more about Pride and LGBT+ and write messages of kindness to members of the public ahead of Manchester Pride. The fantastic youth workers shared some incredible stories about the group’s fundraising bake sale efforts for the British Red Cross, sharing their first aid training and the endless other ideas they have coming up in the next few weeks.”
EmpowHER is coordinated by UK Youth, in partnership with The British Red Cross and Young Women’s Trust, and delivered by local partners and UK Youth members. The project is funded jointly by Spirit of 2012 and the #iwillFund, which was set up by The National Lottery Community Fund and DCMS to enable young people to lead social action in their communities.
For more information on the programme, click here