Over the past 18 months COV has had the pleasure of working in Partnership with UK YOUTH, British Red Cross, Young Women’s Trust and Positive Youth Foundation as part of the EmpowHER programme. EmpowHER inspires young women and girls to lead change in their communities. Launched to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage, the youth programme encourages young women and girls to use their voices for positive change, just as their predecessors did 100 years ago.

EmpowHER addresses the worrying low levels of wellbeing amongst young women and girls in the UK and supports them with education, safe spaces and the opportunity to give back to their local community through inclusive and meaningful social action projects. EmpowHER is funded for 3 and a half years funded by Spirit of 2012 and the #iwill Fund.

COV has had the pleasure of working with 64 young women and girls so far on the EmpowHER journey. Our young women and girls have delivered a range of social action projects supporting hundreds of people in our local community from creating wellbeing packages for the elderly, women seeking refuge and or being released from prison, to creating a girls only events for young women and girls who are looked after by the local authority, campaigning to encourage girls to break the gender stereotypes when thinking of career development, campaigning to end period poverty, tackling social isolation and youth loneliness and campaigning for female reproduction rights.

The beauty of delivering a programme like this, is how young women and girls comes together, creating a sisterhood as they explore the world around them, coming together to make change. But all is not so fine and dandy at times, when our young women and girls see the social injustice that women face and how this is happening all across the world in a number of ways, it can’t be unseen. So when that feeling of upset, rage and or disappointment fires up (plus many other feelings), we are there to help change the state of that energy and to turn it into something productive, to create change! So we educate, comfort, and create a safe space to explore ways to move forward, take action and help others.

WE CHANGE ADVERSITY is a group of inspiring young women who worked with COV in the Summer of 2019. They are a group of young women who have been campaigning for female reproduction rights, and are still actively campaigning now with their Instagram page (@wechangeadversity). Below is a statement from the group about how EmpowHER has helped them increase their confidence and self esteem, and how social action can benefit all those involved.

Big shout out to all the girls that have took part in EmpowHER across the UK, and to all the organisations that have worked hard to make this happen! The joys of working with young people, they inspire you everyday!