These days show us that we need community and mental health support more than ever! We want to continue making great work for adolescent girls during times of uncertainty: together we can supporting girls’ confidence and wellbeing so they are more resilient in times of difficulty and change.
There is a mental health crisis in the UK which particularly affects young women. Currently, one in eight young women between the ages of 17 and 19 self-harms or attempts suicide. Many of the problems that so badly affect teenage girls have their roots in the transition from childhood through puberty.
Having a ‘Big Sis’ volunteer on hand, who has been through it all, to offer practical and emotional support at this critical time, is of great help to young girls. In order to address this crisis.
Your pledge will enable us to:
- Run our 2020 Plymouth Pilot Project: 'Big Sis Mental Health Mentoring Program' in schools
- Train 300 student volunteers to deliver 'girl' s sessions' in Plymouth primary and secodary schools (year 5,6 and 7)
- Offer valuable support and interactive education on crucial issues: such as body literacy, emotional literacy skills, accessible and sustainable menstrual cycle education, self-care and using social media safely
- We prioritise schools in vulnerable areas of Plymouth and the South Hams
- Create local opportunities for young women studying in education degrees to volunteer with us and learn new skills as a mentor being actively involved facilitating and reflecting these 'girls sessions'. They collect first-hand experience, build confidence and trust in working with young people which prepares them for their future careers
- The bigger picture: with this program we create sustainable and skilful communities: We bring together women and girls that cross benefit from the shared knowledge and support. We provide a great framework for building communityand encourage our volunteers to get active and organise activities in
their communities, strengthen local collaborations with the purpose to enhance women and girl's wellbeing, mental and physical health, and we provide guidance and mentoring to our volunteers throughout.
Working with young girls on the areas of emotional literacy and menstrual education we have witnessed the positive effects of this work in the girls self-confidence, emotional awareness, body knowledge and healthy body image, which have proven to ease the puberty transition period. In our community work we've noticed that the biggest crisis of confidence occurs between year 5-7 as the transition from primary into secondary school is huge.
We train female students studying education to provide mentoring and support to these girls. The young girls benefit from the knowledge and experience of their Big Sis mentor whilst learning new skills in an informal and safe space in school. This reduces the uncertainty, fears and anxiety that arise for many young girls as they enter puberty and strengthen girl to girl bonds.
The program consists of 12 workshops that are run in schools bi-weekly.
Our Volunteers will also be trained to deal with any problems they are confronted with and receive ongoing support from our expert team. They are recruited through local educational institutions.
To enable parents and girls to stay connected and reach a wider audience we currently offer online Zoom-spaces to connect: A series of webinars for mums and guardians of 8-12 year olds as well as wellbeing workshops for girls. In 'Preparing Girls for Puberty' for parents we open a conversation to deal with your kids most frequent questions about puberty. We'll discuss your girl's needs, how to have open conversations early on, introduce menstrual products and other techniques and resources we use to open the big topic of puberty. Next Mum Webinar (Replay available): 12.June, 8-10pm, 10.July, 17. August 2020. Pledge to our 'Workshops & Events Reward' on the right side.
We have many rewards for parents, charities, schools, corportes too.
We have asked our participants of our coming-of-age and parent-daughter programs about their experiences:
We are a newly founded Devon based social enterprise supporting young girl's mental health through physical and emotional literacy campaigns and practical support programs. We are also equipping girls' immediate support networks: parents, carers, teachers and schools with resources and useful information around growing up through workshops and programs. We understand that pre-puberty is a crucial time in a young persons' life that needs to be supported. 'Big Sis' founder Friedel Fink (MA in Scenography and interactive concepts and communication, menstrual educator and holistic practitioner) is gathering a team of interdisciplinary experts from the fields of mental health, wellbeing, menstrual education and holistic therapies to support the journey of growing up.
Our Founder Friedel Fink
Big Sis Founders Friedel Fink and Margarida Candido Lopes
Our Partners and supporters:
We are a member of: