You Can Flourish
You Can Flourish Awarded £2,500 By The WPH Charitable Trust
A charity to improve emotional and social wellbeing among 11 to 18-year-old girls in Warwickshire has been awarded £2,500 by the WPH Charitable Trust.
Now in its eighth year, You Can Flourish was the brainchild of Charlotte Bevan and Kirsten Friend, who with their backgrounds in youth work and primary and secondary education, noticed a growing number of girls held back by anger, anxiety, low self-esteem and other issues.
The pair were witnessing an increase in the number of girls faced with challenges such as self-harming and failing to build and maintain friendships.
Such problems were compounded by insufficient professional support for those who had failed to meet certain criteria, or the support that was offered addressed immediate issues but failed to resolve root causes such as low self-esteem.
Flourish was established to offer more than a ‘sticking plaster’ – intervening at an earlier stage with the aim of preventing the need for further intervention later down the line.
The threshold for support for statutory services now is higher than five years ago. As a result, Flourish is helping girls with these needs e.g. problems caused by social media, with young girls often lying awake until the early hours.
The pandemic had a devastating impact, with a 125% increase in referrals to Flourish. Before the pandemic, around one in three young people were living with some form of social, emotional or mental health issue. But, spending the lockdowns isolated from friends and surrounded by family who were also dealing with their own problems and therefore unable to offer adequate help has increased the numbers even further.
In addition, the lockdowns caused young girls to miss out on two years of social and emotional development, so they now find it more difficult than previous generations to manage friendships.
Academically, they are achieving, but fewer are thriving. So, while they are making the grades in the classroom, many still believe they are not good enough and are struggling to envisage a bright future.
The budget for this year was £240,000 to fund Flourish’s one-to-one mentoring group courses, workshops and online hubs across 13 local schools. The services have been built around the advice of girls who have previously benefited from Flourish to ensure continued improvement.
Last year 188 girls benefited.
Charlotte said: “Grants like these from WPH are vital. It equates to 12 very intensive sessions for five girls, so it goes a long way and makes a big difference to our capacity. We are always trying to ensure we are sustainable in the long term, and the funding from WPH will enable us to continue providing crucial frontline support.”