Salford women asked to become ‘Big Sisters’

Friday 9 November 2012
The University is supporting social enterprise, Girls Out Loud, which is coming to Harrop Fold School in Little Hulton to roll-out its Big Sister mentoring programme and asking local women to get involved.

Girls Out Loud is working to raise the self-esteem of girls aged 13-18 throughout the UK. Its mission is to boost their self-confidence and empower them to make positive informed decisions about their future. 

The University and the Lowry Centre are helping to fund the Big Sister mentoring programme over the course of a year from January 2013. Twenty Big Sisters will be working with girls in Year 10, holding one-to-one mentoring sessions and a series of group activities.

Head Big Sister, Rachel Ward Lilley, is thrilled that she and the team will be able to work with girls in Salford and is asking local women to step-up and get involved in the cause.

Rachel comments: “Rolling out our work in Salford is crucial to our ongoing work in the community. However, we cannot do it alone and would love to hear from and meet with local women who might be keen to get involved as volunteers in our programme."

She continues: “Our Big Sisters offer a friendly face and someone our girls can confide in: someone who has been there before and is happy to help. We work with the girls, not to guide them in any particular direction, but rather to listen, to care and to provide positive female role models.

“Big sisters are recruited from all walks of life but what is fundamental to their involvement is their deeply-felt desire to support a young girl age 13-18 for a minimum duration of 12 months. The mentoring takes the form of an hour’s meeting every three to four weeks and all Big Sisters are trained, monitored and supported throughout by the Girls Out Loud team.”

Julie York, Director of Community Development at Harrop Fold School, said: “I am delighted that Linda Tompkins, Head of Community Engagement at the Unviersity of Salford, considered us for this project. We have already identified more than 30 girls who might be suitable for this exciting initiative.

“Many of our girls have low aspirations despite being extremely talented, caring and interesting individuals. It will be a fantastic opportunity for them to meet, on a regular basis, with women who have become successful in all walks of life.”

For further information about Girls Out Loud or to find out about how to get involved, visit www.girlsoutloud.org.uk