Out of my comfort zone

Wednesday 8 October 2014

GraceFortunately for me as a 25-year-old woman I have been in a full time job for an online fashion company for the past three or more years. I have gone through the motions with relative ease; GCSEs, A levels, University degree and finally a good job in which I can picture a career. 

Women's rights have always been important to me. Whilst in university I met three close friends who were all opinionated, strong minded and independent and we would often talk about how lucky we were but also the struggles still faced by so many young women not as fortunate as ourselves. We studied at the London College of Fashion and our course allowed us to do lots of women’s rights electives which broadened our horizons to gender issues; my final dissertation was titled Fashion vs. Feminism.

In recent months I have felt a really strong urge that I needed to push myself outside my comfort zone. I always wanted a to be independent and have a long and successful career and this was my main aim; but I also started having a gut instinct to travel more, to do something drastic; to make a difference.

I found the website Global Adventure Challenges through work - initially designed to be a scheme to raise money for a work foundation, I thought this would be perfect. I picked a challenge that looked achievable and (somewhat!) enjoyable, so come November I will be trekking ten days in the Nepal Himalayas with an organised group of people of all ages/races/sexes but with a common interest and goal.

I knew I wanted to support a women's charity; I had never heard of the Young Women's Trust before. I followed the link through to their website and instantly felt this was the right charity for me to sponsor. I realise how lucky I am to have had all the opportunities I have, and I want to help as many women as I can reach their full potential and capabilities. I work with a lot of strong women and I think more women in the work place, molding and shaping our society will only make it a better one. I know my influences as a young woman impacted my personal views and expectations and I know YWT work hard to address this. I paid the deposit without thinking - once it was done I knew I would have to make it happen. 

I started thinking about fundraising. What I have found really great about having this challenge is that when you have a goal to work towards you discover what your true capabilities are. When you have something you really care about achieving you will do everything you can to make it happen. The staff at YWT were really supportive and emailed me straight away to wish me luck in my training and fundraising. I started with a boot fair - I did this at a local school, which was great as I could talk to young women who would potentially have also never heard of a charity designed especially for them and what it could offer. I reached out to my family - they were all really interested to hear about the kind of work Young Women's Trust does. I have a lot of strong female influences in my family; they instantly recognised the importance of such a great charity and have been so supportive. 

So far I have doubled my £600 target. I chose to self-fund my trip so everything I raise can go to further improving the lives of young women. I am so happy I chose do it - as I said before until you push yourself out of your comfort zone you truly don't know what you can achieve. The first step is the hardest, we all get too comfortable in our situations but I think it's so important to follow your passions and always aim to become a better person. 

Hopefully I will come away from this trip not only with an amazing experience for myself, but also the knowledge I have helped other young women understand their potential and encourage anyone to just go for it; you don't know just what you can do until you try.

 https://www.justgiving.com/grace-strang/

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