Businesswomen given boost by new Chichester project

Businesswomen across the area are being sought to help inspire and empower young women to aim high as part of an exciting new project.

The Foyer, a supported living charity for young people aged 16 to 25, is planning to launch its Project A scheme in mid-January and is looking for businesswomen, and women with inspirational tales to tell, to step forward and act as mentors to eight young women who have been chosen for the project.

The aim is give each young woman the skills to make positive choices about their lives by raising their confidence and helping them understand their strengths and talents.

Service manager for The Foyer, based in Velyn Avenue, Connie Fiorenzio said: “What we have noticed is people here have particular vulnerabilities around issues of self esteem and confidence which are more pronounced in young women.”

Project worker Tina Hilton said the scheme was about getting women to realise they did have skills which they could contribute to the community.

Mentors would help achieve this by discussing and sharing thoughts about their own self worth, achievement, attitudes and behaviour which helped them.

“Many of the young women we work with have no confidence and have never had those sort of strong role models in their lives,” said Ms Hilton.

“We want this to be a journey of self-development for both the young women and their mentors. We know they can do it but it’s about trying to draw it from them that they can do things and when they hear it from someone else it becomes very powerful.”

The project will initially run for four months, using a combination of coaching and mentoring. Participants will complete a task where they develop and market a product or event.

They will receive life coaching both in groups and on a one-to-one basis, where they will be helped to identify what they want from life, what they want to change and what they think is preventing them from moving forward.

Staff at The Foyer hope the mentoring aspect of the project will result in work experience for some of the women.

Mrs Fiorenzio said staff were committed to looking after their mentors and would provide feedback and support throughout the project.

Eventually the aim will be to run the project twice a year.

“We are looking for mentors from all backgrounds, and businesses and age is no barrier,” said Ms Hilton.

“Age is important because it helps build bridges and you just can’t buy life experience.”

The project will culminate in a presentation event where the participants will tell their story about their personal journey over the four months.

The Foyer is holding an open day on Monday, January 17 where prospective mentors can find out more.

For more information about the scheme call 01243 778668 or email or