Working with young women on International Women’s Day
The Mayor's £45 million Young Londoners Fund supports over 170 organisations, delivering a wide range of activities to young people across the capital, including thousands of girls and young women.
To celebrate International Women's Day, we are sharing the work of one of our funded organisations, Hounslow Action for Youth.
Jacqueline Crooks tells us more about the project:
Hounslow Action for Youth has been providing arts, cultural, and educational services for young people across Hounslow for almost 30 years.
Our 'Agent for Change' writing project is helping support the complex needs of at-risk young women in our borough.
‘Agents for Change’ directly supports isolated young women to work with high-profile, award-winning writers, like Mona Arshi who won the Forward Prize 2015. Mona grew up in Hounslow in a working-class, migrant household. She inspires young women to believe that they too can achieve.
Our project also works with writers across the country. Kate Wakeling, whose poetry for children won the 2017 CLiPPA prize, is one of the writers who is matched to young women for personalised mentoring.
We work in partnership with Richard Skinner, Fiction Director of Faber Academy – a leading creative writing organisation. Faber Academy provides space at their offices in Bloomsbury for young women to gain insights into the publishing industry, and Richard connects us to leading women writers like Mona and Kate.
By working with writers of this calibre we want to send young women we work with a clear, positive message: they are valued.
Our project offers a safe space, support and an artistic community where young women can feel a sense of belonging and empowerment. Projects like this have never been more needed, helping young women to develop their creative capacities so they can envision and realise bright futures.
Through poetry and stories, young women find their voice and are empowered to have the confidence to say no to gangs and crime, and to become agents for change. With the support of leading artists, they are creating high-quality literature and expressing themselves in powerful ways.
The project is a great example of statutory, business and community partners working together to change the lives of at-risk young women. If you would like to support the project or would like more information about Hounslow Action for Youth’s work please contact CEO Debbie Hughes: [email protected].