Recently, a group of three girls from Elmfield’s Class Eight, including myself, represented all the girls in our class at a meeting with the panel for Youth Opportunities Fund (YOF). This is part of a new project which the girls are embarking on with the help of Mrs Gulbis, our class 8 teacher, and Amanda, a mum of our classmate and a women’s self-defence trainer.
She suggested that she would hold a number of workshops for the girls in our class, training us in how to keep ourselves safe, and hopefully enabling us to help other girls around our age too.
Amanda came to talk to us and we all got on board as we thought it was an important and relevant issue, and we all wanted to get involved. I rang up the Stourbridge Children’s centre and made our appointment. A smaller group represented the girls, but everyone helped. We filled out our application form and nervously awaited our meeting with the panel.
When the three of us went together with Mrs Gulbis, I was very anxious. We went in to meet the panel, which was made up of three young people around our age. They asked us questions about our group and why we came up with the idea.
We answered as truthfully as we could and hoped that they would grant us the funding. Eventually we were called back in and they told us that we had got the £450 for our group to hire the instructor and make leaflets to show other young women. We were ecstatic! It was very exciting going to see the panel and really good practice for the future, having to pitch our project and explain why we were passionate about getting it going with the funding.
I couldn’t wait to tell the other girls! We are looking forward to empowering other young women to feel safe, with the booklets we will make after our training and it was generally a really great experience.
Here are some photos of our first training session and showing some of the activities and exercises.
Amara, Class 8