June 28th, 2013

The Need…

Fiona has developed some incredible work with young women which is a leading example of practice in Tower Hamlets and will look to continue to focus the work of the Canaan Project on young women in the future.

From our experience, young women in Tower Hamlets face many issues, from the universal experience of negotiating adolescence and the changes it brings (including physical, identity, independence and interdependence) to more serious situations (such as bullying, family breakdown, domestic violence, sexual exploitation). Without the right resources and support these issues can lead to poor self-image, and low self-worth, which in some cases can manifest in risky or destructive behaviours including self-harm, exploitative relationships, drug and alcohol misuse and eating disorders.

Many young women in Tower Hamlets lack strong support networks. Because they don’t access youth provision as much as young males, young women can lack safe places to receive support in understanding, processing and responding to the issues they face. It can also mean they lack opportunities to build their personal resources, to develop interests and skills, and to have fun, and build relationships, with peers. These can be vital components to helping young women develop confidence and resilience, and contribute to building positive alternatives to negative behaviours and lifestyles.

Next week we will share some of the exciting thinking about Vision that Fiona will be taking forward to meet these issues/needs/concerns.