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Teenager sets up single sex youth club

Kirsty-Lee (front, centre) gets started with making a balloon chair.

Kirsty-Lee (front, centre) gets started with making a balloon chair.

  • by Heather Butler
 

A BLACKPOOL teenager said she is doing it for the girls after setting up her own youth club.

Kirsty-Lee Topping, 16, a student at Blackpool and The Fylde College, started the same-sex group to provide a haven for girls her own age to meet, have fun, and learn important life skills.

She said: “I wanted a group where girls could come and make new friends and talk about some of the issues that worry them. I couldn’t find what I wanted so decided to set up my own. We have debates on things like body image and celebrity role models and do fun activities like making T-shirts or cooking lessons. We’ve got some speakers coming in to talk about sexual health and other issues, and will put on other activities the girls ask for. It’s all about discussing things, making friends, gaining confidence and building self esteem.”

Kirsty-Lee, from Grange Park, secured £500 from youth charity VInspired for a 12-week pilot project and this month launched the club on a permanent basis, every Tuesday from 4.30pm to 6.30pm at the Claremont Centre in Dickson Road, with support from not-for-profit outfit ‘urpotential’.

Unity College pupil Courtney Howick-Conner, 14, from Bispham, said: “I really like trying new things, especially making pancakes last week and I’m hoping to gain a cookery qualification while I’m here.”

And 16-year-old Lan Liggins, from Poulton, who attends Acers school in Thornton, added: “I’m not usually too good with new people but I really look forward to coming. Everyone’s really nice, respectful and you know you can trust them.”

UrPotential youth worker April Pollitt expects new members to be drawn to the club’s ethos

She said: “It’s a place they can come and be themselves, no pressure, no one judging, just a chance to get support while they grow into young women.”

The girls will taking part in International Women’s Day celebrations on Saturday, March 9, with a range of activities including beauty treatments and face painting, from 11am to 2pm at the Claremont Centre.

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