Welcome to the EmpowHER Toolkit!

Hello! Interested in best practice guidance and ready to go resources for you or your youth work team? Perhaps you’re a youth worker already running social action, wellbeing or single gender programmes and wanting some fresh ideas or maybe this would be a brand-new venture for you. Maybe you’re looking for a complete how to guide or just some support to make your practice even better.

Whatever you’re after and whichever way you’ve found us we’re happy you’re here!

Co-designed with young people, EmpowHER was a three-and-a-half-year programme (2018-2021) addressing the worryingly low levels of wellbeing amongst young women and girls in the UK, supporting young people to give back to their local communities with inclusive, meaningful social action. Over 2000 participants progressed through a powerful journey of social engagement, social learning, social action, and youth leadership, breaking down personal barriers and used their voice to lead change in communities.

This toolkit is designed to bring the very best of EmpowHER to the sector, with thanks to our funders Spirit of 2012 and #iwill.

“The most amazing thing that I’ve seen through EmpowHER is that the young women don’t realise the significance of sisterhood, until they’re in it, and then by the end they do! And the love they have for each other at the end is phenomenal!”

You can use this toolkit in its entirety to deliver the EmpowHER programme or pick and choose resources with the young people you work with. This toolkit is made up of eight sections, full of ready to go resources, thoughtful ideas, and top tips to support young people through their journeys.

Social Engagement

“The young women and girls have gotten accustomed to the online sessions now and their engagement is much better. We would love to deliver EmpowHER again”

EmpowHER  was designed to specifically target ‘unusual suspects’: young women and girls (YW&G) aged 10-20 with low wellbeing, who do not already meaningfully participate in social action, and are facing significant barriers, such as YW&G with additional needs or disabilities, young refugees, or young women and girls from deprived areas.  However, this toolkit can be used to recruit a mix of young people depending on your organisational mission.

Top tips and ready to go materials

Social Learning

“The body positivity stuff was my favourite because I’ve got body shamed and bullied a lot. It helped me a lot because it made me feel more confident in myself”

My World
My Community
My Self

My World

My World

My Community

My Community

My Self

My Self

How to deliver Social Learning

Social Action  

“The social action project was the best. I liked going into the community and getting to meet people, but the main thing was how grateful some people and organisations were to receive the care packs”

Rewards and Recognition

Rewards and Recognition is a key part of cementing the learnings, growth and achievements of the young people who have participated on the programme. Through the years, we have seen the power of rewards and recognition to increase self-esteem and motivation of the young women and girls as well as to help motivate continued engagement in social action. Recognising non-academic achievements in this way can be particularly powerful for young women and girls who may not regularly receive praise and certificates in academic settings. Indeed, for many young women and girls who excelled on EmpowHER this recognition was a new and hugely impactful experience.

Rewards and Recognition ideas

Youth Leadership

“It makes you excited, like you’re making a change and the world will one day be better because you’re doing something about it”

EmpowHER uses social leadership as a tool to create lasting change and impact in their lives. Young people are given the opportunity to apply their learning and life skills to new  experiences which equip them to become empowered and contributing members of society. These opportunities come in various forms such as becoming EmpowHER Ambassadors, peer mentorsvolunteering with partnering organisations and much more. 

Building Partnerships

“We hope to develop a workshop with Noni with the support of the British Red Cross Youth Engagement Worker to create an arts project to educate and promote good body image”

Effective partnership working was integral to the success of EmpowHER –with youth organisations across the country, with our partners, British Red Cross and Young Women’s Trust, and of course with our funders, Spirit of 2012 and #iwill. We know that social action is better when it’s embedded in communities, through working with our delivery partners in a non prescriptive way, each partner, indeed each group of EmpowHER, had the freedom to deliver meaningful social action in their local community.

Importance of partnership working

Partnerships can also bring different skill sets together – our partnership with the British Red Cross brought campaigning expertise and unique social opportunities whilst Young Women’s Trust were able to bring their expertise on gender specific advocacy. Young people benefit from different types of support and guidance and by coming together we make a bigger impact.

Here are some top tips and resources on creating and sustaining powerful partnerships.

How to have Powerful partnerships Top Tips


Effective Evaluation

“Keep at it. Things might go wrong along the way, but you have the power to change the world”

Through rigorous evaluation on EmpowHER we were able to not only evidence the impact of this youth work programme, but also understand how the work worked. We were able to report statistically significant changes in wellbeing – a powerful case for funding and commissioning this intervention – as well as identify the enablers that created the change.

Looking to embed more evidence-based learnings in your programme and EmpowHER sessions? Then download the resources below to help you start making your work, work better for young people.

Finding Funding

“We would have lost the engagement of a young person if they didn’t have the support of the Digital Inclusion Fund. It enabled her to be part of EmpowHER and stay in it too”

We all know that amazing programmes need amazing funders. Here are some resources to help you get started with securing funding for your programme and creating lasting change.

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