Tribute to all women

Tribute to all women

March is a month particularly close to our hearts as it’s when we pay tribute to women’s achievements around the world, across all walks of life. On the 8th of March, we will be joining the rest of the world in marking International Women's Day (IWD), an event that celebrates women's achievements, while also raising awareness around gender-based inequalities. And the following week, we will be celebrating our mother figures with Mother’s Day. What a beautiful way to enter the blooming season!

This year, IWD is coming back for a third year on Monday 8th March, with 'Choose To Challenge' as a campaign theme and the following points for us to rally round:

  • A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day.
  • We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.
  • From challenge comes change, so let's all #ChooseToChallenge.

In honour of Mother’s Day and International Women's Day, HOUSE OF LILAH has decided to shine a light on Young Women’s Trust, a UK charity that has been supporting women for over a century. It started its journey as part of the YWCA, which was founded in 1855. It was rebranded as non-religious organisation Platform 51, before then becoming Young Women’s Trust in 2013. We have asked Ashleeka Mandil from their Fundraising Team to tell us more about the amazing work they do.

Can you tell us about your mission as a charity?
Young Women’s Trust is a feminist organisation working to achieve economic justice for young women. We offer support to young women aged 18 to 30, who are living on low or no pay and want to build a better future. Furthermore, we campaign for young women’s equality in the workplace and our research examines what young women’s lives are really like. Young women are at the centre of the charity’s work: leading, designing and participating.
What kind of difficulties do the women you work with face?
Most of the young women we work with experience difficulties such as low or no pay, homelessness, domestic abuse, and discrimination due to their ethnicity, disability, and sexuality. Our recent report, picking up the pieces, found that a third of young women struggled to make cash last until the end of the month during the coronavirus pandemic.
How did the charity cope with the 2020 challenges?
Young Women’s Trust is fortunate to already have our Work It Out services online, and as a result we were able to help 3,750 young women with their wellbeing and employment circumstances during 2020. Our Emergency Fund was launched in response to the pandemic, and since April we have raised funds to provide relief payments to over 2,500 young women who are struggling to afford essentials such as rent, food and bills. In addition to this, our young women were able to conduct more research into unpaid work and the effects of the pandemic.

Are you putting in place any particular initiative for Mother’s Day?
Our digital team is currently working with our young women who are mothers to write a blog for Mother’s Day which will be on our website soon.
What’s your role and what’s the most rewarding part of it? 
I am the fundraising administrator here at the Young Women’s Trust. My role involves me processing all the donations that come into the charity and communicating with supporters. My most rewarding part of the job is seeing how much people care about the work we do. Some people leave comments along with their donations, such as, “I used YWT a year ago and having a coach really helped me stay sane during a very difficult period of my time when I had just graduated, was looking for jobs and had no other support. I was making next to nothing and now I have a job I'd like to give back.” Being able to change young women’s lives for the better is just an invaluable experience.
How can people get involved if they want to support these women through your charity?
There are lots of ways people can get involved if they want to support our young women. The best place to see this wide range of options is to visit the following site:  join the movement. There you can find simple ways to support young women such as donating, signing up to our campaigns along with lots of fundraising ideas.

As a female entrepreneur campaigning for more social justice, I want all women to have the chance to unlock their full potential. So, this Mother's Day, HOUSE OF LILAH is supporting women by donating 10% of proceeds from our Mother’s Day gift set to the Young Women’s Trust, to help them make 2021 a brighter year for women in the UK.

Do you want to help force positive change for women?

Here are a few ideas...

  • Get yourself and your friends involved in the official #ChooseToChallenge campaign
  • Drive awareness around issues faced by women
  • Show your support for women-owned small businesses by sharing them online
  • Raise funds or donate your time to a women's charity