Arch have partnered up with a local sixth form college to help raise self-esteem and healthy relationships education of young women.

The Girl Power programme worked with seven female students at the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College. The group had weekly two-hour sessions, which covered topics such as consent, life goals and healthy relationships.

Previously, the course had only been available for high school children. But with intimate violence the highest among younger age groups, particularly those aged between 16 and 19, these workshops are hoped to help prevent domestic abuse at college age.

One of the students who participated said: “It helped me to have a better understanding of abuse in relationships and gave me the strength to end a relationship that had the potential to go this way as a result.”

Another student commented: “I feel more comfortable in myself and how I look and feel more confident in myself”

Programme leader, Sarah Capewell, described the purpose of the sessions: “We’re here to give young girls a better understanding of important topics regarding their physical and mental wellbeing.

“There is clear link with low self-esteem and vulnerability. This programme improves confidence and is a form of preventative intervention that’ll help a lot of young women.

“Each of the students involved should be very proud; their commitment to the programme was amazing and the increase in their self-esteem is remarkable.”

Learning Support Assistant Camilla Jameson, who initiated the collaboration, said: “We were aware that the age of our students makes them statistically more likely to experience abusive relationships. To maximise the College’s support network we reached out to Arch whose work in the area is highly regarded.

“Arch has worked to adapt their Girl Power programme to fit the age of our students. With a focus on improving self-esteem, awareness of unhealthy behaviours and other preventative education, the programme has been embraced by our students and the results have been amazing.

“The young women who participated have drastically improved their self-confidence and resilience, which is great to see.”

During its pilot at the Sixth Form College the programme has proven to be very successful and popular among students and the programme will run again for students. Arch has also received funding to deliver more programmes across the city.

For more information about the programme contact Sarah Capewell on 01782 744533.