Former Redbridge student launches project to empower young women
PUBLISHED: 15:00 09 August 2019
A former Redbridge pupil who launched a project to empower young women in an era of "body shaming and trolling" has won the Jack Petchey Leader Award.
Cara-Jane Lynch, 28, and her sister Charlotte, 29, both former pupils at New City College, have a passion for young people and have always volunteered in the youth sector.
In their teenage years they helped set up a Hackney youth hub with their parents.
They are now the founders of a project called Self (See Each Life Flourish), which delivers mental, emotional and social wellbeing workshops in schools and youth centres across London, and Cara-Jane launched a female-specific project called Grow (Girls Realising Opportunity Within).
With the rise of "insta-fame", body shaming and trolling, the wellbeing of young women weighed heavy on Cara-Jane's heart.
In 2018, she decided to design and implement Grow for New City College, specifically targeting girls that would benefit from the project. She delivers life coaching sessions about self-esteem, confidence and limiting beliefs.
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Cara-Jane said: "In a society where girls and young women are constantly told they are not enough, my desire was to create a self development project that rejects these messages and asks, according to who?
"Grow was created to empower young women and enable them to understand and develop self-love and self-acceptance."
Twelve young women took part in the programme and they heard from inspiring female speakers who had faced challenges and overcame them.
Using life coaching techniques, students were given tasks to get them out of their comfort zone.
Through feedback, Cara-Jane said the participants, aged 16-19, increased their confidence by 50per cent.
"As a female who struggled with body confidence and anxiety growing up, it was important for me to design a project that gives girls a space to explore their limiting beliefs, and be reminded that they are worthy and deserving," Cara-Jane said.
"My hope for the project is that it will help the next generation of girls to know that they can overcome any obstacles, make empowered life choice, pursue their goals and confidently achieve whatever they set their minds too."
The Jack Petchey Foundation Leader Awards scheme highlights and recognises the commitment of adults who work with schools and youth organisations and are dedicated to supporting young people.