Inspirational women are icons for Burnley schoolgirls

Girls from the Happy and Proud project join Alicia Foley (from Calico) and Lynne Blackburn (from Participation Works) at the tea party event.
Girls from the Happy and Proud project join Alicia Foley (from Calico) and Lynne Blackburn (from Participation Works) at the tea party event.
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Young girls from South West Burnley joined together with inspirational women from the region at a special tea party, as part of the Happy and Proud project delivered by Calico Homes and Participation Works.

Happy and Proud has received £28,000 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to provide opportunities for young girls to develop their confidence, learn more about important women throughout history, and to learn new skills with a view to instilling a sense of pride in their home town and raising aspirations.

The project is supporting 13 young girls of primary and secondary school age, helping them to boost their self-esteem and teaching them the importance of developing themselves outside of the school environment.

The Happy and Proud tea party gave the participants the chance to interview inspirational women from across the town.

The young girls were also able to share the work they have done with Happy and Proud so far and all the things they have achieved.

The girls have been working on a short film about the history of women in Burnley, and have been taught a range of skills with local filmmaker Nick Farimond, from filming to editing.

They have done a lot of research and studying for the project, and have worked on a number of projects to help develop their skills, including working with heritage partner Gawthorpe Textiles Collection and Participation Works.

The girls have grown significantly throughout their time with the project – many came to Happy and Proud feeling quite shy and nervous, and are now much more self-assured and assertive.

Daisy-Mae Ratcliffe said: “Through Happy and Proud, I have been able to learn a lot about women’s history, especially the Suffragettes. I’m amazed at how much I have discovered about Burnley’s history and heritage.

“I’ve learnt so much about building my self-confidence and about self-love. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to work on sewing with the Textiles Studio – it’s been great to learn a new skill.”

Chantelle Brindle said: “I’ve definitely grown more confident with Happy and Proud, and find it much easier to be around other people.

“When we started, I was nervous around big groups, but now I am much more able to speak up and join in.”

Alicia Foley, Community Investment Manager at Calico Homes, said: “Happy and Proud has been a great success. It’s been heart-warming to see how much the girls have learnt and developed since they joined us. We can’t wait to see the final film and exhibition to see just what they have learnt and achieved.”

For more information about this and similar projects, visit calico.org.uk