Norfolk Community Foundation, together with The Prince’s Trust, is excited to announce the launch of an innovative new mentoring programme to support and inspire vulnerable young women in Norfolk, helping them to take the next step towards reaching their goals.

This one-year pilot initiative, which has received more than £25k of funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, is part of our Together for Women and Girls programme. We were inspired to set up the programme in 2018 to help local women and girls overcome challenges in their lives and realise their aspirations.

Through recent research we have found that young women today are facing a spectrum of issues and pressures including poor relationships, drug dependence, low self-esteem and a lack of real support. A lack of positive role models was clearly identified as something that could make a real difference to improving opportunities for young women.

The Prince’s Trust has found that young women have different support needs to young men and that there is a gender divide between how they view their future prospects. Young women revealed that they are more likely to think they put too much pressure on themselves to achieve success (50% compared to 34% of young men.) They are more likely to think a lack of confidence holds them back and to worry about ‘not being good enough in general’ compared to young men.*

The new mentoring initiative has had an encouraging start, with Norfolk Community Foundation successfully recruiting a team of volunteer mentors from a range of professional backgrounds to support and motivate young women who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET), or at risk of becoming NEET.

Through the partnership with The Prince’s Trust, these mentors are receiving training and will be matched with up to 40 local young women to help them achieve and sustain success in education, employment or training. After evaluating the difference the pilot has made to the lives of these young women it is hoped that the initiative will be extended and rolled out more widely.

Clare Francis, Partnerships Manager at The Prince’s Trust, said:

“The Prince’s Trust are delighted to be working in partnership with Norfolk Community Foundation to deliver the Together for Women project across the county. The partnership has enabled The Prince’s Trust to diversify our volunteer pool and bring on new mentors with a huge range of professional backgrounds. It has also provided a platform for us to unify likeminded people that want to support women in the community.”

* The Prince’s Trust Youth Index report (January 2018):