Project information

DLG - developing leadership in girls

Residential weekends for girls who are Christians that give them experience of leadership with opportunities for individual feedback. Youth leaders accompany them on the weekends and will mentor them back at home. We'll train new leaders for the weekends to extend their reach

September 2011 - August 2014

Charity information: Sophia Network

Sophia Network logo
  • Need


    There are still fewer women in leadership in all areas of life. At best, the church gives mixed messages about women in leadership, and actively discourages women from leading at worst. Many girls have few role models of women in leadership. In mixed youth groups, girls often defer to the boys when placed in challenging situations, letting them take the lead. There is a need for girls to learn about and experience leadership in a single-sex setting to begin to see themselves as leaders.


    We will run weekends for girls to attend with their youth leaders. We will engage them in activities that require initiative and problem solving, enabling them to demonstrate leadership. We give individual feedback and help girls to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Youth leaders attend the weekends with girls from their groups so they know what they have experienced and can mentor them back home. We'll keep in touch with girls who have done the course and provide ongoing opportunities

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To develop leadership skills in girls aged 14 and over who are Christians


    » Provide residential weekends for girls only to enable them to learn in an empowering context
    » Engage girls in activities that require initiative and leadership skills to help them learn what leadership is about

    What success will look like

    Success will be 140 girls in the first three years who can identify the ways they have demonstrated leadership and who return home to continue to develop that potential

    Aim 2

    To help girls identify their strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for development


    » Have individualised feedback on the weekend so that each girl learns more about herself as well as leadership in general

    What success will look like

    Success will be girls who can articulate at the end of each weekend what their strengths are, and what they need to develop further

    Aim 3

    To provide ongoing support for girls to further develop their leadership potential


    » Youth leaders bring girls from their youth groups who have leadership potential and then mentor them on their return.
    » We will keep in touch with girls who have done DLG via monthly email, encouraging them to contribute and informing them of new opportunities

    What success will look like

    Success will be youth leaders running mentoring sessions for their girls for the year following the DLG weekend. Success will be girls contributing to the monthly emails.

    Aim 4

    To create a second residential weekend that builds on the first to create a year-long programme


    » We have devised and piloted the initial weekend. We'll develop a second weekend that builds on the first and combine them for a year programme

    What success will look like

    Success will be a well-run pilot weekend in June 2012 and a year-long programme in 2012/13 - 50 girls will have completed this in the first three years

    Aim 5

    To train more leaders to run DLG weekends in other locations.


    » Our plan for the next three years includes training and assessing new leaders on each DLG weekend that we run

    What success will look like

    Success will be 8 new leaders who can run the first weekend and 4 who can run the second weekend.

  • Impact


    140 girls will have taken part in the weekends and ongoing support. They will see themselves as leaders and will be empowered and encouraged to take up leadership opportunities in different settings.
    We are seeking accreditation through ASDAN for the courses that we offer
    We will have trained around 55 youth leaders over the three years in how to mentor their girls, skills that they will be able to use with other young people.
    We will have trained 8 leaders who can replicate DLG locally


    There is a risk that girls may go back to churches that do not allow women in leadership, contradicting what they have experienced on the weekend. We will get youth leaders to bring their girls on the weekend so they know what they have done and can support them back at home.

    There is a risk that we will not get enough girls on the courses to make them viable. We will grow the programme slowly over three years and have a network of nearly 700 youth workers we can promote it to.


    We will provide annual reports to donors with comments from the girls and youth leaders, as well as those we are training.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £52,900

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £23,400 project leader freelance, over three years including expenses
      £4,800 website and training manual to train new leaders and guard the ethos of the project
      £15,000 administrator to deal with bookings and admin
      £5,200 materials and bursaries for activities and to enable low income girls to come
      £4,500 Sophia Director input from leader of organisation and contingency

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    individual donor £4,800 Guaranteed
  • Background


    DLG weekends will be held at 4 different locations over the course of the three years. We will start with weekends in Sheffield, the second location will be in the south east, and then we'll add in two more locations which will be dependent on the people we train as new leaders.


    girls, aged 14 and over, who identify themselves as Christians and their youth leaders. The programme will be open to girls across the UK.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have piloted the weekend already, running it on six separate locations so we know that it works. We are a network for women in youth work and so have ongoing contact with 700 female youth leaders on a regular basis. We have experience of developing leadership skills in girls and promoting leadership among Christian women.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Sharon Prior

    Sharon has done work for Sophia on a freelance basis and is a co-founder of the organisation. She is a skilled youth worker, trainer and coach.

    Jenny Baker

    Jenny is the co-founder of the Sophia Network and its current director. She will oversee the development of the project and monitor its success.

I saw confidence grow and leadership develop during last year's event. This has been built on in amazing ways as they have acknowledged their gifts

Chris, female youth leader