The Empowerment Group for Young Women was a project we started in the summer this year. The empowerment group allowed us at Leicestershire Cares to collaborate with a variety of local organisations and partners across public, business and community sector, to achieve our desire of raising awareness on sexual exploitation and delivering an array of activities tailored to our young women.
The aim of the Empowerment Group for Young Women was to establish a network for young women to support them and their needs as young women. We are aware that some of the young women we support are susceptible to exploitation, grooming, harassment, and a range of vulnerabilities.
Our aim to work with the young women to share learning and experiences. Therefore, can develop the confidence, soft and hard skills that will empower them to identify, understand, prevent, and deal with situations where sexual exploitation is a potential issue.
As with all our work, the aim will be on them dealing with immediate and pressing issues and then building connections that enable them to take positive action for change, encompassing our Power to Change model.
It was really good to see the videos from people relatable rather than preaching. Krishna made a really cute, kind, warm environment.Young Person
It’s nice to leave the house and meet new people, engaging in useful and informative conversations.Young Person
We successfully delivered 10 sessions for the group. We initially sent out a survey to the young women and took on board the activities and awareness sessions they suggested and embedded them into the project.
We delivered sessions on sexual exploitation, mental health, self defence boxing, henna art to name a few and finished the project with 4 comic sessions delivered by local artist Indre.
Although the Empowerment group for young women was a success and we achieved the aim’s we set out at the beginning of the project, we still faced minor challenges. Engaging young people can be challenging to have attendance weekly. To ensure we could accommodate the young women attending, we did change the timing of the group once the school term started again, moving to later in the day so they could still be involved in the empowerment group.
However, what did work well was the engagement element from the local communities and our business partners. We had sessions delivered by the SHUSH project (Jasmine House), Julie- Kick Ass Fitness, Mental health videos from Syan Gallagher (LCC). We also had Kiera from Leicester Fire Service, business members Sue from Stepnell, Tracey from Walker and Son, join our employability session to talk about their career journeys- working in male dominated industries. This allowed the young women to understand they have the same opportunities and can succeed in these roles.
Good overall on women’s mental health and how to help, improve and reflect.Young Person
The next steps for the Empowerment Group for Young Women are to expand the group and take the sessions to different locations within the city to be able to reach and support more young women. We have spoken to Leicester college to potentially use their space at the Abbey Park Campus to hold sessions, as well as delivering sessions at Loughborough university. We plan on starting the project up again early 2024! Look out for comms regarding our new schedule.
For more information or to get involved in the Empowerment Group for Young Women, please contact Krishna.
Krishna@leicestershirecares.co.uk - Project Development Officer - Powering Up Project