Mentoring scheme for young Tees women to launch this autumn

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The Girls’ Network is a national charity aiming to inspire and empower girls aged 14-19 from the least advantaged communities by connecting them to a mentor and a network of professional role models who are women.

Set up by two teachers in 2013, the charity expanded into the North-East three years ago and has been working with young women and mentors in and around Newcastle.

Autumn 2020 sees the launch of its first Tees Valley mentoring programme, thanks to funding from Tees Valley Combined Authority and spearheaded by Teesside University professor Jane Turner OBE.

“I am absolutely thrilled that the Girls Network has developed a presence in the Tees Valley,” said Jane.

“We have a moral obligation to do everything we can to make sure that the young women of our region are enabled to build the futures they deserve.

“The Girls Network will create a network of mentors and mentees that will change outcomes and lives.”

The Tees venture of the Girls’ Network is being supported by a number of other high-profile leading Tees business leaders, including Tees Components managing director Sharon Lane, former Tees Businesswoman of the Year Claire Preston, North Star Housing Group CEO Angela Lockwood and NEPIC business development director Joanne Fryett.

Current Tees Businesswoman of the Year Sharon Lane said: “We have a large and strong network of professional women here in Tees Valley, and have been actively trying to establish a way of providing mentoring to girls and young women.

“It was therefore incredibly exciting to find that the Girls’ Network could provide a structured means by which we can be partnered with mentees.

“I know that with the benefit of our professional experience and networks, we can really make a difference to the lives of less advantaged girls and young women.”

The Girls’ Network has brought on board Rosalind Stuart (pictured above, right) to manage the launch and running of the programme.

Rosalind said: “Girls from the least advantaged communities in Tees Valley face the double disadvantage of both the class and glass ceiling, and often struggle to access effective careers advice and support with building self-confidence.

“Plus, we know you can’t be what you can’t see, so I want to match as many of these girls as I can with a local role model, to inspire them to think big with their ambitions.

“I know there are so many women in the region who have learnt life lessons along the way, who are willing to commit an hour a month to make a difference to the life of a local girl.

“Perhaps they wish they’d had a mentor themselves at that age. If this is you, get in touch.”

Professional women with 3+ years’ work experience can apply today. Help The Girls’ Network achieve unlimited futures for all young women. To apply, head to their website, and you could be paired to a fantastic mentee in the Autumn.

For more information or interview requests please contact rosalind@thegirlsnetwork.org.uk.