Blackpool Community Trust have recently commenced the delivery of a brand-new project called PL Changemakers. It is a programme which has been funded by the Premier League and has been developed specifically to support girls and young women to develop their personal skills and positive attitudes for leadership.
The course itself is a 12 week programme which hones in on a range of topics which will aim to improve participants mental and physical wellbeing, increase their awareness of gender equality and mental health related issues and increase their understanding of the knowledge, skills and behaviours of successful leadership.
As of January 2021, Community Trust staff Adam Aspinall and Rachel Leaver commenced delivery in Highfield Leadership Academy after meetings with the school’s teachers to outline what the course was about and the skills that their students could possibly develop by taking part in the course. We are currently part way through the delivery with a cohort of 16 females from year 10 who have been put forward by the school as individuals who would benefit most by taking part.
Rachel, the delivery lead for the programme has described her experience so far as, “a fantastic programme to be a part of, it is so important to empower young women to strive for leadership roles in society and to understand their strengths to improve their confidence. The girls have embraced each session and got involved with everything that we have asked of them. Many of them already have assertiveness skills and it has simply been a case of pinpointing how they can utilise these skills to move forward both now and in the future.”
The aim throughout the course is to incorporate both classroom and practical sessions where the girls will then be asked to put their learning into practice amongst their own group and begin leading sessions amongst their peers. We then aim to have the girls taking part in a form of social action within their school where, upon the completion the changemakers course, they will run a weekly football/sport session for the girls in year 7 at the school.
Another really exciting prospect to look forward to is the national celebration event which is going to be held at Villa Park on International Women’s Day in March. This event will welcome the 37 CCO’s that have delivered changemakers nationally and will bring together over 100 new leaders into one room to celebrate their success and new skills as one whole group of positive and strong young female leaders.