Vale’s Young Campaigners of the Year!

The SHINE Group was set up in DVHS in response to group of girls who wanted a discuss issues surrounding self-esteem, body image and self-perception. They felt young people had mixed messages surrounding healthy and unhealthy relationships.

The group continued to work on these issues from Year 7- Year 11.

From the first stages, WISH became involved in the project and spoke to the girls about piloting a group to look at issues surrounding awareness raising – not just to signs of Domestic Abuse but also a chance to learn about themselves.

The girls were up for the challenge and met weekly at lunchtimes. WISH used Dove Real Beauty Campaign alongside the ‘EXPECT RESPECT’ toolkit and Drama Therapy. We looked at how women are portrayed in the media, make up, body image and what is healthy and unhealthy in relationships. They enjoyed having their thinking challenged.

They had grown in leadership skills, communication and confidence. The group then mentored a Yr 7 group using the same material.

They were awarded them the title of SHINE Ambassadors in school and they wanted to continue to raise awareness of DA and what is acceptable in a relationship.

They performed a play written for them by WISH for their peers in assemblies, and then later had the opportunity to be part of the HEART Conference at King Georges Hall. They were so proud to showcase all the work they had done. They performed, sang and were interviewed in front of a packed room full of conference delegates. They had certainly grown.

In Year 10 the SHINE girls wanted to include boys in the group and chose to look at something a little tougher. Again alongside WISH, the SHINE Group in its new format looked at the CRUSH programme together.

The work that they did not only sent a broader message throughout school, but further increased their confidence and engaged and inspired others.

The girls are now in Year 11 and are very proud of the legacy that they have left. They were pleased to be invited to share a few comments with the National Women’s Aid Conference. Their views were heard on the experience they’ve had in engaging young people and flying the flag for Women’s Aid in Lancashire.

Finally, in March this year the SHINE Group were nominated for an award for Young Campaigners of the Year – which Shine Awardthey won – and at the SLYNCS National Awards Ceremony held at the Maida Restaurant in Blackburn they were proudly presented with a beautiful trophy, sponsored by Victim Support. The award was presented by Jaffer Ali Hussain who is the Chief Executive Officer, SLYNCS

Students at the SHINE awardsThe Shine Group went down to the SLYNCS National Awards Ceremony. Well done to India Adcroft, Devon Ormerod-Banks, Abbie Smith and Baish Nicoll who won the Young Campaigners of the Year Award.