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Youth-focused forum aims to empower young women

Six Premier League (PL) and English Football League (EFL) clubs have come together to empower young women and girls by creating a youth voice forum that aims to give the young people of today the chance to shape community-focused activity in their local area.

The Female Ambassador Forum was piloted during the COVID-19 lockdown as part of the Premier League Kicks (PL Kicks) programme. PL Kicks was launched 14 years ago and has a long history of using the power of football and the value of sports participation to help youngsters in some of the most high-need areas of England and Wales.

The programme aims to engage young people in regular positive and fun experiences in safe and supportive community environments. Involving young people in the design and delivery of future activities and supporting them to create positive change, enables Club Community Organisations (CCOs) to develop future social action opportunities across PL Kicks.

The first session saw young representatives aged 14-18 years who had previously attend PL Kicks from Arsenal in the Community, Bournemouth AFC Community Sports Trust, Fulham FC Foundation, Palace for Life Foundation, Saints Foundation and Watford Community Sports & Education Trust.

This platform created for young people provides a space for them to express their challenges and share solutions to tackle issues faced across sport and society and stimulate positive and proactive change.

Meet Palace for Life’s Ambassadors

Elise Wilson: “To have the role of ambassador is a great opportunity but also a responsibility because I have to represent Palace for Life well. It’s good to have multiple connections that I know will be useful and help me progress.”

Sophia Messam: “I’m delighted to be an ambassador for Palace for Life, it’s certainly a position I am proud to have. Palace for Life have a great aim and I’m 100% behind it.”

The young people will be consulted on topics such as the best environment to host football as well as, identifying a diverse range of activities that may encourage girls and young women to take part and how best to market to a young audience in various mediums.

The Forum has added great value for those CCOs involved as they start to learn more about the experiences of local young people and strive to continue to build stronger, safer and more inclusive communities.

Roxanne Bennett, Community Sports Manager and Women and Girls Lead, added: “It’s been really inspiring listening to the girls on the forum and hearing their thoughts and views. It’s key to take their ideas and ensure we run activities that relate to young people and continue to give them a voice.”

As well as virtual youth voice sessions, a celebration event is planned for May 2021, which the young ambassadors will take a lead role in planning and delivering.

For more information, email Roxanne Bennett

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