Exciting times for young women

Tuesday 17 March 2015

I’m a member of Young Women’s Trust’s Advisory Panel, which recently got together for its second Residential, at the Birmingham Aston Conference Centre. Having thoroughly enjoyed the first Residential last year, I was truly looking forward to getting together with the other young women on the Panel again.

KerriWe kicked off with introductions and to coincide with International Women's Day Lydia asked us to share our #everydaySHEro. Hearing the other Panel members talk about their sheroes reaffirmed to me just how strong us young women are, and how inspirational the women in our lives are.

We then had the opportunity to shape a new project that Young Women’s Trust is going to start running called Regional networks.

As Young Women’s Trust continues to go from strength to strength they want to come up with new initiatives and innovative ideas to get more young women involved, and Regional Networks is the newest of these. Lydia explained that pilot networks will be set up in South East London, Barnsley in South Yorkshire and Sandwell in the West Midlands this year to see how it goes.

In our respective groups we discussed what we thought the Regional Networks would look like; how long the membership should be, what skills the leaders and group members would need, what support the networks would need and where would be the best place to advertise them.

I’m sure I speak for all panel members when I say this is an exciting time for Young Women’s Trust and an initiative that we would all like to be involved with. Being from South East London I feel passionately that the Regional Network could really benefit young women in my local area and cannot wait to see how this develops.

One of the highlights of the weekend and what seemed to be the most entertaining was the Colour Me Beautiful session. In this we got to experiment with what colours best suited our skin tone, our hair colour and eye colour. We also learned about body shape and how to dress in a way that flattered our body. This session emphasised how important it is for us as young ladies to pay particular attention to what we wear and how we present ourselves, particularly when we are working or are attending interviews. This was an insightful session full of laughter and ever since we haven't stopped making reference to what colours suit us.

As interest in Young Women’s Trust grows, so does publicity and some of us are media volunteers. This means representing the charity in the best way, knowing what we want to say and how to say it, being articulate and engaging and really expressing passion about YWT and bringing our personal experiences to life.

Mike Blakemore talked to us about the different types of media and the pros and cons of both, what techniques we can use when being interviewed and how to get our key messages across.

After the briefing we got to become real-life stars and were interviewed on camera by Laurie Philp - it was ‘lights camera action’. We spontaneously answered questions, unfazed by our surroundings, and we were in our element. Some lucky ladies’ video clips will be used on the Young Women’s Trust website.

The media training saw an exciting weekend full of laughter and bonding draw to a close. I thoroughly enjoyed this Residential and cannot wait until the next one, and the many exciting opportunities for us to share our views that arise between now and then.