prom dress - Inspire Cheshire

A South Cheshire project to support the mental health and wellbeing of young women has won cash support as it launches new activity sessions.

Inspire Cheshire, under the umbrella of health and wellbeing charity Motherwell Cheshire in Wistaston, has received a grant from the Pilgrim Trust.

It will support its work with local young women over the next three years.

The charitable trust, founded in 1930 by American philanthropist Edward Stephen Harkness, has awarded £90,820 towards Inspire’s counselling, befriending and peer support activity sessions for 16-25 year-olds struggling with their mental health.

Motherwell Cheshire founder Kate Blakemore, a trained counsellor, said: “Today, young women are three times more likely than men to experience common mental health problems. Anxiety and depression is rife and it’s a crisis we recognised several years ago at Motherwell Cheshire.

“We began Inspire Cheshire to help girls feel more positive about themselves and develop coping mechanisms to deal with day-to-day challenges.

Georgie and volunteer - Inspire Cheshire (1)
Georgie and volunteer – Inspire Cheshire

“It’s run by young women for young women and they are over the moon to be recognised with this funding.”

Inspire Cheshire’s young women have co-designed a programme which includes counselling, peer support and therapeutic groups meeting at the charity hub on Beech Drive.

Projects have expanded to include counselling in Crewe and Nantwich schools and training for young wellbeing ambassadors to identify and care for pupils suffering with their mental health.

New for the spring and summer is #BeActive – a girls-only scheme offering fitness and fun for all abilities in safe spaces.

Self-defence, clubbercise and rockbox taster sessions are underway with support from Sport England and Cheshire Police Crime Commissioner.

The first took place at St Mary’s Caritas Centre in Crewe on April 8 and further dates are planned.

Inspire Cheshire coordinator Georgie Kay-Phillips said: “We understand the barriers that can prevent young women and girls from engaging in sport and experiencing the physical and mental health benefits that come with being active.

“So we are providing a safe, relaxed and non-judgmental environment to try out new sports activities and have some fun being active.

“Exercising is a great way to foster your physical and mental wellbeing, and this will also be an opportunity to make new friends.”

Inspire Cheshire has also launched empowerment groups for young women and has teamed up with the Wishing Well Project to run Craft for Wellbeing sessions at the centre on Chester Bridge, Crewe.

Meanwhile Georgie and volunteers are currently working on their quarterly magazine.

Inspire Cheshire supports young women in Crewe, Winsford and surrounding areas. For information on all activities see Facebook or go to inspire-motherwell

Girls aged 13-18, or up to 25 with a vulnerability, looking to take part in #BeActive sessions are asked to email [email protected]

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