Their flagship initiative is the 12-month Big Sister programme, which pairs girls in year 8 or 9 with professional women from their local area. Over the course of the year, the big and little sisters meet once a month for mentoring sessions which give the girls space to talk about issues such as friendships, aspirations, self-belief and more. The end of the programme is marked with a graduation ceremony, which is a celebration of what they have achieved during their time together.
And it was one of these graduation ceremonies which brought us to Rhyl, North Wales.
You could sense the girls’ excitement from the moment you walked in the room. Chatting and laughing with their ‘Big Sister’ mentors, it was clear that they’d really bonded over the 12 months they’d been working together.
As part of the ceremony, each big and little sister pairing took to the stage to speak about what the programme had done for them. This was probably when the impact of the programme hit home the most. One girl thanked her mentor “for making me who I am today” and others shared hugs with their mentors. One big sister was visibly moved when reading a poem to her little sister – it was clear that taking part in the initiative had changed the lives of everyone involved.
But don’t take our word for it! BBC Radio Wales were also there on that day to interview Jane Kenyon, founder of Girls Out Loud as well as big sister Jane Parry and her little sister Alyssa. You can have a listen to what they had to say here from 1:24:50 – bbc.in/2nBFs4U
All in all it was a truly inspiring day for everyone who was there!
Sarah Jane is an Account Executive in the Manchester office