We caught up with how some of the participants in EmpowHER were doing, one year into the programme...
EmpowHER is funded jointly by Spirit and the #iwill Fund, and delivered by UK Youth in partnership with the British Red Cross and Young Women’s Trust.
The programme was established on the centenary of women’s suffrage, with the aim of capturing the spirit of social action which the movement embodied and passing it on to a new generation of young women and girls, developing their skills and confidence and providing them with opportunities for meaningful social action of their own.
In Cashes Green Primary school, a small, rural school near Stroud, a group of 9-11-year-old girls sold cards and cakes to support the British Red Cross’ Independent Living ‘First Call’ Service.
The group met with an EmpowHER Youth Engagement worker. They were curious about how they could help local people who couldn’t leave their homes, so the worker told them about the ‘First Call’ service, run by the British Red Cross, which supports vulnerable people in their homes in Gloucestershire.
The group recognised that it was an important community service and decided to raise funds by selling cakes and Easter Cards. They assigned themselves roles and worked together to prepare for and deliver the event, baking cakes, making cards and working at the stalls.
The sale came at the end of a day of social action activities, where the group also delivered wellbeing workshops throughout the school. At the end of the day, the EmpowHER group had raised £84, a sum which they were absolutely delighted by.
The group later worked with a Red Cross worker to discuss how best to spread positivity throughout their school.
They agreed that Valentine’s Day, which was approaching, could be an emotionally difficult time, so decided to link their action to ‘Galentine’s Day’, an alternative which places emphasis on friendship and solidarity between women.
The girls made paper hearts carrying positive messages for their classmates and passed them out at break-time.
The Uniting Communities Group, based in Little Harwood, is a senior EmpowHER group of predominantly young Asian women.
Working with a British Red Cross volunteer, they identified First Aid skills as something valuable which they could bring to their community.
After completing a First Aid learning session with the Red Cross, the group ran an open session in their local community, with the aim of sharing their learning.
They taught sixteen women and girls the lifesaving skills, running sessions in both English and Punjabi to make sure that they were fully accessible.