Jess (Advance Senior Service Manager – Young Women & Girls) and I joined Advance at the start of the Maia & Lift programme, at the very early stages of launch. Being able to assimilate ideas and motivations for change into an organisation where the core values are at the heart of an innovative workforce with their drive to improve the lives of women and girls has been encouraging.
The Maia and LIFT projects reach out to YW&G (Young Women & Girls) from the ages of 9-24. The programme comprises a partnership between Chance UK (-13 years), Maia mentor and group work (13-24 years), Woman’s Trust mental health workshops, and Working Chance. This unique partnership model recognises and speaks to the principles of individualised advocacy and early intervention in the prevention of further harm to YW&G, with careful consideration of where, when, and how this group experiences abuse across cultural, societal, and global systems of inequality.
Whilst Maia has been commissioned, developed, mobilised, and supported by a unique framework, our vision is to widen our reach to YW&G, raise their collective voices, and be an influential partner amongst many advocating for gender equality across the sector. We aim to do this by moving beyond individual projects, helping to elevate YW&G as future influencers. Advance strives to contribute to emerging evidence bases on the issues and successful outcomes of working alongside young women and girls, and work with the principles of co-production to create the conditions where every young woman and girl is recognised within her unique context and as the expert in achieving her individual aspiration.
We aim to create a safe place to grow.
The principle of our work recognises that the many abuses and inequalities that YW&G experience emerge within a relational context across a lifetime, including intimate, structural, cultural, and more. Advance and our partners recognise the significant reparative and restorative potential of an invested and trusted relationship by providing the conditions for her to explore, identify and reinforce her individual capital and asset towards empowerment. We do this from a gendered lens of intersectionality to challenge the embedded societal norms that have disadvantaged her.
Advance recognises and draws on the expertise of those services and colleagues who have been walking alongside young women since the organisation was first conceived nearly 25 years ago. The charity’s work is structured and is successful by working with and alongside specialist partners and experts across all our services in domestic abuse and in the criminal justice system. Our evidence-informed framework enables our workforce to create individualised and trauma considered conditions, based on the knowledge gained from emerging evidence bases, the voices of our women and girls, and the experiences of our workforce.
It is a gift to have joined Advance at a time where the new strategy is being launched, where young women and girls feature significantly. Our sector-wide experience and many years of experience makes Advance best placed to strive for a national campaign to support each young woman and girl to better thrive in the future.
Head Young Women & Girls services
- The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership.
- Advance, the sector-leading women’s charity, launches its campaign, #ASafePlaceToGrow to mark the United Nation’s annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence initiative focusing on the needs of Young Women and Girls. Find out more
- Maia/Lift programme, as part of our wider Young Women and Girls services is funded by the Mayor of London’s Violence Reduction Unit. Find out more
- Women must be referred to Advance, via statutory services or the charity’s self-referral scheme. For more information about who Advance is able to support, please visit Get help
For facts and statistics about domestic abuse and women in the criminal justice system, as well as Advance’s work, please visit Our impact