It was a beautifully sunny day when two of our community development workers set up camp at Notre Dame College in Woodhouse, Leeds.
Notre Dame College was developed in 1898 by a group of Roman Catholic Sisters who came from Notre Dame in France to Leeds. They intended to build a community that would provide education, support and academic guidance to girls who weren’t typically afforded a good, or in fact any, education. Over a hundred years later, the school is proud to host nearly 2,000 students, male and female, and from hugely diverse backgrounds; something the College is incredibly proud of.
As part of the Women’s Lives Leeds project working and supporting women and girls from all backgrounds across Leeds, our community development workers, Libby and Victoria, were thrilled to have attended such a historically significant place for girls and young women here in Leeds.
Setting up their Women’s Lives Leeds information stand during Notre Dame’s busy lunch hour, Libby and Victoria had planned to talk to both upper and lower sixth students, about issues important to them especially during their A level exam time.
Community Development workers chatted to all students about their exam stresses and their future plans after college or in the summer. It was great to meet so many students and talk to them about different things including basic tips for stress relief during exams and revision, support around careers guidance and to announce our upcoming young women’s forum.
As a women and girls only project though, our community development workers wanted to discuss more gender specific issues facing the female students. Our community workers were so pleased to speak to such engaging, bright and informed young women who raised distinct and important issues with us such as the gender pay gap, male dominated professions and sex discrimination on drivers’ licences- who knew men don’t need to have a ‘Mr.’ on their licence, but women need a ‘Miss,’ ‘Ms,’ or ‘Mrs…’??!!
Libby and Victoria are really excited to be back at Notre Dame again in the summer term at the request of the students for advice and guidance over revision techniques and career assistance. And from the autumn onwards, Women’s Lives Leeds will have a continued presence at Notre Dame in order to support young women in the varying and complex issues they face.