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Girl Up Norwich

BGFers Maud and Taryn launch a group in Norwich campaigning for gender equality and raising funds for the global organisation they work under - ‘Girl Up’ - which raises awareness for and combats issues faced by young women and girls in developing countries.

We decided to launch the Norwich branch of the UN Foundation’s Girl Up programme after the participating in Norwich’s Women of the World Festival. We’d been working in a close-knit group of young women (the ‘WOWsers’) to programme part of the festival, also acting as volunteers and ushers during the actual event.

We were looking around for a way to maintain the momentum created by this venture and stumbled across Girl Up: perfect! In September we held our first meeting, attended by twenty-five people, and have since grown to a group of over forty members across the county

Since this initial meeting, we had the opportunity to hold a sold-out event at the Norwich Arts Centre, raising funds for the organisation. In the intimate space of the Arts Centre bar, we showcased four up-and-coming musical acts (all aged under 25): Daisy, Aphra, Anna and local band The Celias.

Alongside this was an art exhibition on the theme of the ‘female gaze’, curated by Caitlin, one of our group’s members. The artwork displayed was all intended to subvert the historic (and often objectifying) trend of female depiction from a male perspective, challenging the ideas of conventional representation of women in art.

The night was a huge success - the bar was absolutely crammed full, all people attending to be part of the empowerment and celebration of women. The vibes were incredible; it was so refreshing to see so much of the community engaged in this project, making noise together and starting conversations. We raised £350, enough to support the education of seventeen girls for a year.

This group has been a wonderful experience so far, a chance to unite young people from across Norfolk, offering a safe space for discussion of feminist issues. As well as planning our future events and delivering information on other opportunities to get involved on, we debate various topics at our meetings, tending to end with each member of the group giving an example of sexism, or positive changes they’ve seen.

This is a group that operates without any adult involvement - our Norwich club is run by young people for young people. And you can definitely do the same! If there’s something you’re passionate about, you can address it. Find other people who are concerned about the same things and start something. Make some noise. Do. Disrupt. Don’t let your age be your excuse.

Bright Green Future is a FREE year-long environmental training programme for 14-17 year olds which aims to give you the tools, knowledge and skills to make change and empower you to do the things that really matter. Through Bright Green Future you can learn about the most effective ways to fight climate change, gain confidence and meet loads of like-minded young people.

Applications for our new 2019 cohort are OPEN NOW Click here to apply.


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