What is the Y’s Girls mentoring programme? 

The Y’s Girls mentoring programme matches trained volunteer mentors with young women aged 9-14 to support them to be their best. 

Over the initial 19-month pilot, Y’s Girls has matched 270 girls to adult mentors and was awarded Family & Youth Work Project of the Year at the Youth Matters Awards 2022.  

Over a year, mentors and young people meet for two-hour sessions and work together to identify achievable goals that will empower the mentee and build their resilience, enabling them to lead fulfilling lives and improve their short and long-term mental health and wellbeing. The sessions offer an informal environment with the opportunity to discuss anything that might worry them, from family and personal relationships to lifestyle and education.  

An external evaluation conducted by the Centre for Youth Impact found that Y’s Girls is an early and effective intervention that positively impacts six social and emotional learning skills that are indicative of better short and long-term mental health, that it is a young-person-centred and inclusive programme, with a clear relationship between quality and impact. 

How can you support the Y’s Girls programme?

The initial pilot was made possible by generous funding from Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), Tampon Tax Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation and Penny Appeal. We are seeking funding to continue expanding the service to help more young people.

Support the continuation of Y’s Girls

How can a young person access the Y’s Girls programme? 

It is easy to get in touch. We accept referrals from schools, children’s services, community organisations, parents/carers and directly from girls and young women themselves.

“You could not have matched her with a better mentor.” – Mentee Parent

Contact us for an informal chat 

Would you like to inspire and empower girls in your community as a Y’s Girls mentor? 

Expand your knowledge and gain experience working with young people as a mentor on the Y’s Girls mentoring project.

“My mentee and I immediately got on. I have not had a moment of apprehension. We are learning in this process together.” – Mentor

Contact us for an informal chat 

Are you a young woman aged between 9-14 years old and would like to learn more about how Y’s Girls mentoring programme could support you?

“I had been getting bullied quite a lot and experiencing family stuff. […] Things are really getting better. I’ve noticed within myself that I’m feeling a lot happier.” – Mentee, YMCA Cardiff Group

Contact us for an informal chat 

Has your daughter or a young person you care about been referred to the Y’s Girls mentoring programme?

“Y’s Girls help to show me I am not alone.” – Mentee, YMCA Tayside

Find out more information 

Meet YMCA Bradford Y’s Girls Project Coordinator – Laura!

“I really love the diversity the project brings – our girls and volunteers are very different, each with individual strengths, struggles, views and ideas..” – Laura, YMCA Bradford

Find out more information 

The initial pilot project aimed to establish 250 mentoring relationships across 10 YMCAs based across the UK from 2021 until November 2022. The pilot was delivered across YMCAs in North Tyneside, Cardiff (Wales), East Surrey, Black Country Group, Bradford, Nottinghamshire, Lisburn (YMCA Ireland), Southend, Tayside (YMCA Scotland) and DownsLink Group. In light of the positive findings from the external evaluation, we are seeking funding for continuation and sustainable growth.