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Good For GirlsSupporting Minoritised Young Women To Thrive

Young people’s mental health and wellbeing is in crisis, with increasing numbers of young women needing help with mental health issues – particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Thanks to the vital support from the Dukes Foundation, London Youth is able to tackle this challenge head-on through an innovative mental health and wellbeing programme.

In a society where 75% of mental health problems take root before the age of 24, the urgency to support young people cannot be overstated. The statistics paint a grim picture – a rise in mental health issues means many young women are facing depression, anxiety and feel isolated. It’s a concerning trend that demands action.

Pioneering early intervention

Every woman deserves an equal chance to succeed in life. We know there is a compelling need for Good for Girls – and we know this approach works. London Youth’s Good for Girls programme has already provided a vital lifeline for young women navigating turbulent seas of mental health challenges. The pilot of the programme went beyond traditional approaches, combining sports, arts, and social action to create a holistic framework for early intervention.

A resounding impact

The Good for Girls pilot in 2021 provided 77 dedicated youth practitioners with extensive training, who were able to support 1,396 young women with early intervention mental health support. The programme engaged with over 50 youth organisations, 98% reporting an improvement to the mental health support they could offer young women as a direct result.

Young people felt a genuine sense of agency, with 84% expressing they had more options for support and 88% feeling their views were heard. Young people were supported to feel more comfortable with their emotions and youth practitioners were equipped with practical skills to support girls’ mental health. Discover more in the Good for Girls Evaluation Report.

“It has helped more than I could ever try and describe, has made me more comfortable with my emotions and my mental health and how to deal with stuff.”

– Young person

“I gained practical skills to facilitate discussions around mental health for young girls including games and exercises. These in turn increased my confidence in how we as an organisation can support mental health of our young people.”

– Young worker

Watch the Good for Girls pilot programme celebration

Our renewed commitment to girls

Building on the impact for young women across the capital, and thanks to the timely support of Dukes Foundation, a new and improved iteration of the Good for Girls programme is set to reduce the number of young women requiring referrals to specialist services – and instead feel able to turn to their youth worker for this vital, early intervention support.

The programme will provide a crucial support system for young women, ensuring they have a safe space to share, connect, and grow together in a friendly and welcoming environment. Together with our trusted youth workers, we’ll support 20 youth organisations to reach 400 young women. Through a tried and tested approach of positive engagement through sports or arts sessions. Trained youth practitioners will then facilitate discussions through talking circles on emotional wellbeing, fostering an environment that is safe, non-judgemental and life-affirming to form the foundation of positive mental health practice.

An innovative addition to the programme lies in collaboration with London Youth member Place2Be, who will create a peer-to-peer mentoring initiative that will train 100 older young women to benefit from Good for Girls. As part of the new project, these young women will work with the team at Place2Be, to co-develop the new peer mentor offer, create impactful resources and will go on to offer mental health support to their younger peers, during the project and beyond. A brand-new peer mentor handbook will also be shared amongst our wider network of 600 youth organisations.

Your support matters

Through Good for Girls, we have a huge opportunity to create a positive impact on the lives of young women by helping them navigate the complex terrain of mental health with resilience and strength. Plus, we’ll increase the confidence, skills and experience of youth workers who will be able to provide this vital frontline service for years to come.

“With the kind support of The Dukes Foundation, this new iteration of Good for Girls is going to be really exciting. We’re learning from the success of the previous programme and focusing on the quality to ensure that we’re supporting the mental health need, to make sure it’s current, effective and tangible” – Ash Field, Programme Manager for Good for Girls

Together, we will ensure more young women have the opportunities and skills they need to succeed.

Find out how to get involved

About London Youth

London Youth is a charity on a mission to improve the lives of young Londoners. Our membership network of 600 youth organisations supports young people living in areas of high deprivation across the capital – offering them somewhere safe to go (their youth organisation), someone to talk to (their youth worker), and something to do (our programme of activities).

Our vision is that all young Londoners grow up happy, healthy, able to express themselves, navigate a fulfilling career and make a positive contribution in their communities.

Please take a moment to read our 2023-2026 London Youth Strategy

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