Led by powerful statistics, a team in Plymouth have set out on a mission to improve mental health and wellbeing of young girls across the South West and beyond. Supported by Plymouth’s iMayflower project, Big Sis CIC is a social enterprise that supports young girls at a critical stage of their development – from pre-puberty into womanhood.
Founded by a holistic health educator, Friedel Fink – the organisation aims to safeguard the mental health of young girls amidst the global pandemic and beyond, by helping parents, carers, teachers and schools with resources and information that they require to support girls through this important time.
The start-up also plans to run wellbeing, menstrual care and mum and daughter programs to give every girl the tools they need to have a positive relationship with themselves and others. They have also created an online mentoring scheme enabling them to maintain regular contact with families and expand their reach further to a wider audience.
Friedel Fink, Founder of Big Sis CIC comments, “The proverb, it takes a village to raise a child rings very true for me. Pre-puberty is a crucial time in a young person’s life and it needs to be supported by more people than just parents and teachers. There are so many girls out there facing anxiety and uncertainty fuelled by social media and other external societal influences, with so many unanswered questions and doubts about growing up.
“Today young children have even more to process than ever before and, a lot of young girls struggle with mental health challenges, confidence and their body image and some even self-harm. We are also running a series of webinars for mothers and fathers to support their girls, alongside mother-daughter programmes as dads are unfortunately often left out of the equation when it comes to puberty prep and we want to change that.”
Tracey Beeck, iMayflower Project Manager comments, “Big Sis is a fantastic example of the results that can be achieved when several like-minded, entrepreneurial individuals come together and immerse themselves in a weekend of creativity and collaboration. It’s also an excellent example of the support available through the iMayflower (CDF) consortium and the outcomes we are beginning to see from the project.”
iMayflower is designed to build Plymouth’s creative industries and nurture creative people power across the city. The project is supported by a £3.5 million grant from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Cultural Development Fund, which invests in creative, cultural and heritage initiatives that lead economic growth and productivity.
Friedel Fink continues, “I gained a lot of useful contacts during the weekend which have come in handy throughout my journey. The ongoing support from iMayflower has been wonderful too, they firmly sit on our pledge page where we thank people who have made this all possible. We’ve even had the opportunity to do radio interviews and community outreach through the event’s connection with the Plymouth community.”
Big Sis CIC has also benefitted from the backing of £5,000 from the Back Her Business programme, £7,500 from Plymouth City Council and £2,500 from the Crowdfund Sovereign Pay It Forward FundTo find out more visit https://big-sis.co/