Volunteers’ Week: Encouraging girls to speak up
According to Girlguiding’s Girls’ Attitudes Survey 69% of girls aged 7-21 feel like they’re not good enough.
Peer educators across Scotland are working hard to change this. Peer education is just one of the ways volunteers can make an impact on girls’ lives by encouraging them to open about issues like body confidence, stress and bullying.
Peer educator coordinator for Scotland Erin didn’t get involved with Peer Education until she was at university. The theme of this Volunteers’ Week is ‘volunteering for all’ and Erin’s story shows that no matter what stage of life you’re at, from university and beyond, there’s a volunteering role you can get stuck in to that fits around you.
I was so impressed with the Girlguiding Peer Education programme that even when I become too old to be a peer educator, left university and began a full-time job, I took on the role of Peer Education coordinator.
Peer Education caught my eye at first because it equips girls with the skills and confidence to discuss the issues which are important to them in a fun way. Peer educators are trained to deliver interactive sessions on topics young members have expressed an interest in finding out more about.
From Think Resilient to Free Being Me, these sessions are developed with expert partners like Young Minds and the Dove Self-Esteem Project. They’re a great way to explore self-esteem issues, mental wellbeing and gender stereotypes so that girls can start to realise their full potential.
I’ve seen Peer Education help girls at pretty much every session I’ve run because they finally see they’re not alone. Keen to get involved and take on a new volunteering challenge? This is how it all works.
- By giving girls a safe space to express themselves where they know they’ll be supported they tend to be more open about what’s on their mind.
- At the beginning of every session a peer educator will agree the guidelines with the girls taking part to make sure everyone there is respected and enjoys themselves throughout.
- The girls get to take part in fun and interactive activities where they learn everything from stress coping mechanisms to how to build up confidence. Afterwards they’re given the chance to share and reflect on what they’ve learned.
Take the next step this Volunteers’ Week and find out more about how you can help make a difference to the lives of girls and young women and get involved with Peer Education today.