RECLAIM - South Manchester Girls

Summer 2008 saw the launch of the RECLAIM Women’s project. Supported by a team of dynamic women, thirty girls from various South Manchester schools began the six month project that would see them rise to new challenges, demonstrate leadership skills and fulfill their potential. Through their manifesto, the girls shared a message of positivity and empowerment to raise the self esteem and confidence of women across Manchester.

The girls on this project were drawn from five different schools and all had differing reasons as to why this project was necessary. Working with the girls was endlessly challenging, often exhausting and utterly rewarding. Within this cohort of young people we found a small group of young people that had amazing inner strength and determination. The girls were so inspiring that their project was featured as a cover story in The Times and they were the stars of Woman's Hour on Radio 4.

A lack of funding meant this fantastic project was cut short and this was a huge regret to all involved. However, subsequently we have been able to secure further opportunities for these young women and many are being supported through alternative Reclaim offshoot projects. A year on from the start of the project, the girls told us they wanted to do more. During the summer holidays of 2009 the girls embarked on a new challenge alongside staff from the Cooperative to design a brand new gym for Co-op staff. With a budget of half a million pounds (!) the girls worked tirelessly everyday to complete the project, which culminated in a high profile presentation of their designs to the Heads of the Co-op and the Mayor of Manchester.

"The mentors are really amazing. It's like having a older mature friend you can talk to at any time. Ever since I joined RECLAIM I can feel that my confidence is growing. I'm not quite there yet but by the end of the project I would like to be"

Sharon (13), mentee

THE Manifesto

MANIFESTOS - Quicklook