City Centre youth charity OPEN Youth Trust (OPEN) has been given funding from Jarrold Staff Charity Challenge to offer Girl’s Only Empowerment Classes.

Thanks to this funding, OPEN NOW will be able offer a free 12 week course, to 20 young girls aged between 11 – 18.  The course will commence in the autumn in OPEN’s newly kitted out Gym and on offer will be a choice of self-defence classes, non-contact boxing and Girl Warrior Training classes. These classes will be complemented with Keeping Safe Educational Classes.

The physical benefits of exercise are well known, getting fit improves cardiovascular health, strengthened muscles, improved bone density, a healthy approach to weight management. Regular physical exercise also contributes to a reduction in stress and anxiety, increased self-esteem, body confidence and the resultant self-empowerment and ownership of their bodies.

Grainne Buckley, Head of Fundraising said: “Young people are under unprecedented stress, a stress that our generation can only begin to understand. Social media forces them to stay connected at all times, to perform and to constantly look good. The result is worsening unhappiness, loneliness, decreasing self-esteem and self-worth.  This is particularly prevalent among young girls. ”  

Grainne continues: “We want to empower young women to allow them to take control of their bodies, and one way to so this is to offer them free exercise. According to the International Society of Sport Psychology engaging girls in physical exercise between the ages of 13-18 massively increases their self-empowerment.”

Carole Slaughter, Marketing Manager for Jarrold said: “The physical and psychological benefit of exercise in girls is well documented and it’s great to be able to support OPEN and help them to offer these classes.  Our staff wanted to help young women to believe that they can live happy, healthy, confident, and empowered lives.”

Anyone interested in taking part in these classes should contact Fi Manders either by emailing fitness@opennorwich.org.uk or calling 01603 763111 to secure a place.



  • By the age of 15, girls are twice as likely as boys to have experienced a major depressive episode
  • 29% of girls at University have endured a sexual assault or unwanted sexual advances.
  • 59% of young women aged between 13-21 years have experienced some sort of sexual harassment. “Violence Against Women Coalition”
  • 44% of girls between the age of 14-17 have sent explicit photos, and of these 42% have had their photo shared without their consent.



OPEN’s Young Volunteers receiving cheque - from left to right Caroline Jarrold, Grainne Buckley, Head of Fundraising OPEN Youth Trust & Carole Slaughter, Jarrold


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