Charity asks Eastbourne women to consider mentoring

To coincide with National Mentoring Month, a charity focusing on mentoring young girls is asking for more professional women to consider volunteering.

Launched in 2013, The Girls’ Network is a national equality charity that pairs girls aged 14-19 with professional women mentors,

The charity relies on volunteers to maintain its programme and, with demand for its service at an all-time high following the pandemic, it is calling on professional women from across the region to consider becoming a mentor this National Mentoring Month.

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Amy Briffit, a 17-year-old from Eastbourne, says that her extreme shyness and severe lack of confidence prevented her from believing in herself. After joining The Girls’ Network, her mentor helped her to realise she could make her dream a reality.

Amy Briffit, a 17-year-old from Eastbourne, says that her extreme shyness and severe lack of confidence prevented her from believing in herself. After joining The Girls’ Network, her mentor helped her to realise she could make her dream a reality. SUS-220121-143037001

Amy, who is the youngest of three siblings, said that her issues were preventing her from pursuing her dream career, until she joined The Girls’ Network in Year 10 at school.

She said, “I really don’t know what I would’ve done without my mentor.

“I was so painfully shy and lacked any sort of confidence before I joined The Girl’s Network, and it was really holding me back from believing that I had a future as a chef. I knew exactly what I wanted to do after my GCSE’s, but my fear of rejection and lack of self-belief was preventing me from applying for the course I wanted to do.

“My mentor helped me realise that I had a great deal of talent and skills to offer the catering world which helped me to believe in myself.”

The group revealed in its annual report that 81% of girls said that mentoring helped them to focus more on their schoolwork and three quarters also stated that they reached for their mentors as a source of support outside of their official mentoring sessions.

Charly Young, CEO of The Girls’ Network, said, “Our annual report confirms the positive impact that mentoring offers young women struggling to find their way in our current society.

“Mentoring can not only have an impact socially, economically and academically, it can also help girls to overcome a whole host of barriers, from a lack of confidence to anxiety around decisions about their future. The power that a mentoring relationship can have on just one individual is staggering and it can be the difference between them flourishing or struggling to find their way.

“We have seen so many young women like Amy begin their mentoring journey shy, anxious, worried or despondent about their future, come out of the other side feeling inspired, motivated and determined to fulfil their dreams and aspirations. It really is amazing to witness the change.”

The charity is seeking applications for volunteer mentors from women who are easily able to relate to others, committed and reliable, and good at working through problems.

Amy added, “I feel like joining The Girls’ Network was one of the best decisions of my life so far and it has made me into the person I am today. I am ambitious, determined and confident, although still shy and nervous at times, but I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for The Girls’ Network.”

If you are interested in becoming a mentor for The Girls’ Network visit their website to find out more.

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