Young women in South Tyneside from minority ethnic communities will be helped through their first steps into adulthood thanks to a new project supported by The Bernicia Foundation.
CREST (Compact for Race Equality in South Tyneside) has received a £10,000 Inclusion Grant to help deliver its Network Aspire Young BAME Women and Girls Empowerment Group. The group helps young women and girls aged 13-24 from BAME communities to take their first steps into adulthood and navigate the pressures and tensions that impact this critical stage of their lives.
The programme offers mentoring, workshops, activities and outdoor challenges to build participants’ self-confidence, combat loneliness and isolation, and empower young women and girls to make appropriate choices to live the lives they want.
CREST aims to support 30 young women and girls over two years, with the Inclusion Grant funding a project worker, activities and covering overheads.
Workshops will be delivered on topics around domestic abuse, hate crime and road and fire safety, while a programme of creative and leisure activities will help the young women and girls to develop social skills and improve their wellbeing.
The group is managed by CREST’s Community Development Worker, Mohsina Begum, a former network member whose time in the group inspired her to help people in her community. Mohsina said: “Having been through the CREST girls’ group myself, I know exactly how far this grant will go in supporting our current Network Aspire girls. I had never planned to go to university, but through attending the group and later volunteering here, I gained the confidence and drive to study community and youth work.”
The Inclusion Grant will help Mohsina to deliver a range of new services and provide practical support to many girls in South Tyneside. Mohsina explained: “This grant will help young girls who are culturally confined in their homes to gain the confidence to live the lives they want to. We have expanded the range of activities and workshops that we provide in order to show how many opportunities are out there.
“The Bernicia Foundation funding has ensured that these activities remain accessible, furthering our mission to empower and raise aspirations for young BAME women and girls, challenge cultural constraints, and foster confidence. Together, we are making a meaningful impact on the lives of these young girls, breaking barriers and creating opportunities for a brighter future.”
Jenny Allinson, Director of Corporate Governance at The Bernicia Foundation, added: “It’s inspiring to see how CREST is helping young women and girls to navigate their journey into adulthood.
“Projects of this kind really help to set positive foundations on which young people can build the lives they want and develop the skills needed to succeed at work, at home and creatively.
“Bernicia Foundation’s Inclusion Grant is all about supporting small charities like CREST to have a big impact in their communities and this project shows just how much of a difference these services can make to the future prospects of young people in the North East.”
The Bernicia Foundation is a charitable trust set up by North East housing association, Bernicia, to help direct funds where they are most needed – supporting local people living in hard-working communities across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Teesside.
Two funding streams are available – the inclusion fund for voluntary/community groups, registered charities and social enterprises which awards up to £10,000, and the inspiration fund, awarding up to £1,000 for young people, aged 24 years and under, who are actively working towards personal goals.
For more details about Bernicia Foundation, go to www.berniciafoundation.com