New project says ‘let’s hear it for the girls’

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A new initiative has been launched to help build the self-esteem and confidence of young girls.

Project_Twelve: 31 is based in Ovenden and stemmed from work the North Halifax Partnership did with young people in the area.

The aim was to help both boys and girls engage in a range of activities, but it was found girls needed more support.

So a 50-week project was launched, with help from partners including West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, the Lifeline charity, West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Sport and the OSCA Foundation.

It’s a packed programme of sports, outreach sessions, information about issues including sexual health and drugs awareness, as well as activities to help develop girls’ self-esteem and confidence.

Karen Scanlon oversees the project and said: “We wrote it with the girls in mind, looking at a way we could break the barriers down so they could just be themselves.

“It’s about building their confidence and it’s about ‘we don’t have to have that peer pressure of how we should look and how we should be’”

The project, based at Forest Cottage, Cousin Lane, launched in January and it’s already having a big impact.

Many of the girls didn’t know each other before, but firm friendships have now been built.

The group is even gearing up take part in this year’s Race for Life Pretty Muddy event at Savile Park.

Karen added: “It’s about trying stuff you think you can’t do.

“It’s a really nice group and I think we have got some really good friendships.”