Home of the Wonderful

RAGsoc help ‘MAP’ the way for Norfolk’s young women

When first approached to write a piece for International Women’s Day (IWD) I was concerned nobody would care about an unknown young woman’s voice. Upon reflection, I realise this is one of the problems IWD aims to highlight- the all-too-common feeling that we, as women, have smaller voices.  

This is one of the many feelings MAP, a Norwich-based charity, is familiar with and aims to change. MAP works with and for young people across Norfolk on issues relating to mental health, gender, sexuality, young parenting and much more. With mental health issues on the rise and an increased awareness of the LGBTQ+ spectrum, their services and support are needed more than ever.  

The feeling of lacking a powerful voice is particularly noticeable in accounts from the young parents MAP works with, particularly mothers who feel ‘judged’ by some existing ‘untrustworthy’ services. MAP offers support and advice to young parents and provides opportunities to meet others in similar situations to build friendships and encourage discussions that offer a chance to alleviate their anxieties. The importance of such services is emphasised by one young mum: “It’s comforting to know other people go through the same things”, MAP has “helped to deal with the future worries of being a mum.” 

MAP’s approach allows young people to feel empowered and make their voices heard: “through creativity, training and collaborating, young people are equipped to lead the change they want to see in their community and influence decision-makers locally and nationally.” The significance of this work is shown in the counselling sessions offered, one person described them as “someone I can talk to about things I feel proud of. A safe, non-judgmental space” to “process thoughts and feelings and get support.”  

In order to continue supporting clients, MAP requires funding. As the President of Raising and Giving (RAG) Society, I am pleased to say we have been supporting MAP through a variety of fundraisers. In a discussion with Victoria Bleksley, the Fundraising Officer at MAP, I discovered just how many projects and services they offer to young people, especially to those commonly discriminated against- including women. Currently, RAG has an all-female committee striving to raise both money and awareness of the work our charities are doing with vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.  

The work both RAG and MAP are doing demonstrates the importance of student fundraising in making a difference to disadvantaged groups, everyday not just this IWD.  

With thanks to Victoria Bleksley, you can contact MAP at: https://www.map.uk.net/find-us/

RAG’s current fundraiser is a skydive with donations being accepted here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/halla-burdett

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Halla Burdett

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August 2022
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