In this blog, we look back over everything Young Women’s Trust achieved from April 2021 to March 2022.
Last year was a challenging year for young women as we began to emerge from the pandemic, facing cuts to Universal Credit and a cost of living crisis. But we are incredibly proud of the young women who have worked alongside us to make their voices heard.
In January 2022, Claire Reindorp joined as our new Chief Executive and is leading our team and young women to create a new strategy. A roadmap for Young Women’s Trust to achieve real and lasting change, building on our many achievements to date.
Supporting young women
In 2021/22, we supported more young women through our Work It Out service than ever before. Almost 3000 young women had free sessions with professional coaches to help them gain skills and confidence, find work and progress in their careers. And almost 2000 young women received personalised feedback on their CVs and job applications from our team of 200 volunteers.
- 99% of young women told us they found CV and job application feedback useful
- 83% of young women said they felt less stressed and anxious after using the Work It Out service
- 95% of young women said they would recommend the service to a friend
- 54% of those who had coaching and 56% of those who had CV feedback said they had a new job or internship, were in training, volunteering, or self-employed within 6 months of using the service
Our online YWTeas allow young women to come together online to learn about topics ranging from finance employability and wellbeing. We ran 12 events attended by over 350 young women across the year.
Changing the world with young women
We have been working to raise awareness of the challenges young women face and the solutions to them. In 2021 / 22, young women took part in high profile media appearances and met MPs and ministers to share their experiences and the realities of their lives. Young women attended 42 events with politicians, decision-makers, researchers and other organisations. They met with MPs including Emma Hardy, Taiwo Owatemi, Wendy Chamberlain and Will Quince to discuss the need for flexible childcare, the benefits system and how to support young women through the pandemic. 3 young women also met with Lady Hale, formerly of the Supreme Court.
In total during the year, 479 women with experience of living on low or no pay shared their views and perspectives to shape our work and influence others.
Being involved with this community has meant everything to me. During the pandemic, it made me feel a sense of solidarity and purpose, allowing me to cheer on my peers and be encouraged in return. It allowed me to find a place of kindness where I could speak freely and hear the stories of others. It made me want to get out of bed in the morning and participate in something larger than myself.Zoe
Our Research Centre launched in April 2021 with the aim of building a unique evidence base on young women’s lives. We use this to call for the change that young women need. Our report, One Size Fits No One was completed in November 2021 and focused on young women’s experiences of unemployment, underemployment and the benefits system. Peer Research: The Power of Shared Experience was published in March 2022 exploring why peer research is a powerful tool for understanding the lives of young women.
We began the new financial year by launching our annual survey, which showed just how hard young women have been hit by the cost of living crisis. As we move forward with our new strategy, the survey gives us the evidence we need to fight for fairer financial futures for young women and in the year ahead we are determined to do just that.
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