60 schoolgirls attended event to hear from inspirational women from male-dominated industries and learn about breast health
Around 60 schoolgirls in Hampshire have attended an event on International Women’s Day (8 March), to hear from inspirational women and learn about breast health.
The 10 to 15-year-olds spent the day at Portsmouth Football Club’s home stadium, Fratton Park. They met women working in male-dominated industries, including sport, construction and the emergency services.
They also took part in interactive activities, including a workshop on breast health run by Treasure Your Chest (TYC) with the help of Portsmouth FC Women player Anisha Hill.
The UK-wide initiative provides teachers with free credible, reliable and evidence-based information, which has been packaged into downloadable online resources. It was developed by researchers at the University of Portsmouth, St Mary's University in Twickenham, London, and the University of Chichester.
We believe that girls deserve to receive comprehensive breast education, beyond the biological aspects of puberty taught in schools.
Professor Joanna Wakefield-Scurr, TYC co-founder and head of the University of Portsmouth’s Research Group in Breast Health, said: “We believe that girls deserve to receive comprehensive breast education, beyond the biological aspects of puberty taught in schools.
“Breast development can be a positive milestone in the development of the female body, but it can also be an embarrassing and confusing time. By empowering girls with knowledge and awareness, we believe that girls' body confidence, health and participation in physical activity can be significantly improved.”
International Women's Day is a global holiday for the women's rights movement; bringing attention to issues including gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women.
The Portsmouth FC event was organised by Pompey in the Community (PITC), the independent charitable arm of the club which aims to promote education, healthy living, sporting participation and achievement in the city and surrounding areas.
Treasure Your Chest launch
Schools across the UK are being encouraged to sign up to a free initiative which aims to educate young girls on breast health.
Treasure Your Chest is relaunching this October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, following a hugely successful pilot scheme.
The project provides teachers with credible, reliable and evidence-based information, which has been packaged into downloadable online resources. It was developed by researchers at the University of Portsmouth, St Mary's University in Twickenham, London, and the University of Chichester.
[UK schools are being encouraged to sign up to a free initiative to educate young girls on breast health]
[The Treasure Your Chest project provides teachers with free resources that can be downloaded online]
Professor Joanna Wakefield-Scurr: This is a collaborative initiative between the University of Portsmouth, St Mary's University Twickenham, and the University of Chichester. We've piloted these resources in a number of schools and demonstrated that it can improve knowledge and also improve self-esteem and self confidence, body confidence. But actually today is all about the rollout now, about trying to spread the word about these resources and hopefully get more schools to download the resources and use them.
[The first school to try out the new resources was Park Community School in Hampshire]
Teacher addressing the class: So all these things suggest there's no such thing as a normal breast.
Teacher: This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to be part of that launch and for the campaign that is so important for so many young people to understand how to recognise changes in themselves, but also empower themselves to be strong, independent young ladies really.
Student: I find it very helpful to like know different bra sizes and that there's different like types of sports bras and that it helps when you're doing physical activity.
Student #2: When I first went into it I thought it was definitely going to make me laugh because it was going to be all funny pictures, and then I went into it and did it, and I found out a lot of things I didn't know and things didn't necessarily speak about beforehand.
[Does your bra fit you correctly?]
Treasure Your Chest narrator: Do you know how to tell if your bra fits you correctly?
[5 simple steps]
Treasure Your Chest narrator: It's important to check the fit of your bra regularly, so here are the 5 simple steps to do so
[Visit treasureyourchest.org to find out more]
Sammy Quayle, Portsmouth FC Women’s Player and PITC spokesperson said: “It has been a really good turnout today, and the students seemed to really enjoy the workshops.
“When I was growing up I didn’t get a bra fitting until the end of college, and was wearing whatever I could find in a shop. The Treasure Your Chest workshop is a really valuable set of resources that can help girls avoid feeling confused about breast health and support, and that can only be a good thing.
“I hope the girls will walk away feeling inspired after speaking to a lot of women who have succeeded in careers not usually associated with women, and give them the confidence to go out and conquer the world!”
Year 10 students Amilia and Lucy were invited to the event as part of the Premier League Inspires project, an education programme developed by professional football clubs, including Portsmouth FC, to create life-changing opportunities for young people.
Commenting on the Treasure Your Chest workshop, she said: “It was really interesting learning about bra fittings and breast health because it’s not something we’ve been taught much about before.”
Lucy added: “I think events like this are important because not all girls feel as equal as men, and that they can’t get the same jobs as them.
“It shows that no matter what gender you can do what you want and be who you want to be.”
Guest speakers included, Pompey Women player Taylor Macdonald, Sophie Draper-Cleare from construction firm Soudal UK, female firefighters from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service, female police investigators from Hampshire Constabulary and many more.
PFCW manager Jay Sadler added: “This was a fantastic initiative for young females, from across the city, to celebrate, educate and inspire."