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Girls at risk of exploitation charity holds exhibition of Gants Hill and Clayhall pupils' artwork

PUBLISHED: 15:00 10 July 2019

Redbridge pupils took part in weaving workshops. Picture: Freedom 2

Redbridge pupils took part in weaving workshops. Picture: Freedom 2

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A charity which works with girls who are at risk of exploitation is holding an art exhibition about the positives and pitfalls of social media.

A pupil learning how to weave. Picture: Freedom 2A pupil learning how to weave. Picture: Freedom 2

Freedom 2 won funding from Redbridge Arts Council to create pieces with pupils at Valentines High School, Cranbrook Road, Gants Hill and Caterham High school, Caterham Avenue, Clayhall.

The organisation aims to champion and empower girls to have the strength to use their voice and helps them to discover their potential through eight creative workshops focusing on self-worth, healthy relationships and goals for the future.

Mel Manning, Freedom 2 chief operations officer and founder, said art was a great vehicle for girls to open up and talk to each other.

"The workshops are a great platform for girl to have a voice and talk about topics that are important to them," she said.

Pupils often open up and talk about what they are going through during the art workshops. Picture: Freedom 2Pupils often open up and talk about what they are going through during the art workshops. Picture: Freedom 2

"They are one hour and the girls share their art journals and learn how to weave.

"When you are weaving you get to talk about art, but you also get to talk about self-worth, identity and empowerment - art is very thought-provoking and valuable."

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Freedom 2 is showcasing the participants' work at Valentines Mansion, Emerson Road, Ilford, on Tuesday, July 16, between 6pm and 9pm.

Residents are invited to attend not only for an enjoyable evening out, but to support the pupils who have put so much work into the event.

"The theme of the exhibition is social media and its influences, both positive and negative," added Mel.

"The girls have highlighted what it means to them and portray topics including fears and wellbeing."

Mel created the charity after working in primary schools for more than 10 years.

After initially working as a class teacher, she then qualified to be a special educational needs co-ordinator and more recently has been a trainer on the subject of early trauma and attachment issues.

She has vast experience of supporting and engaging with children and their families, including troubled families, looked after children and children with special educational needs.

To find out more visit Freedom2.org.uk

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