Guests attending the Shining Stars Ball, held on Friday 29th September at The Hilton Hotel in Manchester, enjoyed an evening filled with celebration and positivity, where all those involved with Girls Out Loud could share in the social enterprise’s achievements over the past seven years.

The inaugural fundraiser raised an amazing £18,000 and welcomed some of the North West’s leading companies as its sponsors, including Co-op, Pladis Global and Enterprise rent-a-car.

Girls Out Loud is a social enterprise which empowers teenage girls to believe in themselves. With a variety of mentoring programmes ranging in length from a few hours to a year, they believe that allocating girls female role models from their local area helps give them the confidence they need to succeed.

The emphasis of all Girls Out Loud’s activity is to embed a more empowering mindset in girls, which in turn reconnects them to education, helps them achieve exam success, broadens their aspirations and encourages them to find their individual voice, take risks, make better life decisions, improve their self-image to become role models for future generations.

Gail Heath, CEO of the Pankhurst Centre, opened the occasion with a stirring speech which underlined Girls Out Loud’s ethos – that supporting young women and celebrating their achievements is vital to boosting self-confidence and continuing the Pankhurst legacy of female empowerment.

Included in the programme for the evening, which was compered by BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sam Walker, were a raft of awards for girls and mentors that have themselves become Shining Stars for Girls Out Loud. Guests were also treated to performances from teenage dance sensation Tayluer Amos and North West singing talent Kirsty Tattler, as well as a DJ set from Key 103 presenter Hattie Pearson.

Special awards were given to mentors, girls and ambassadors that have gone above and beyond in their support and commitment to the work of Girls Out Loud:

· David Hayes, winner of The Rachel Stevenson School Advocate Award, sponsored by Card Factory

· Gemma Major, winner of The Little Sister Out Loud Award, sponsored by N Brown Group plc

· Hattie Pearson, winner of The Big Sister Out Loud Award, sponsored by Accenture

· Enterprise Rent-A-Car, winner of The Corporate/Brand Ambassador Award, sponsored by Pladis

· Jo Whitfield, winner of The Seed Bomb Award, sponsored by One Manchester

· Gina Moore, winner of The Rockstar Award, sponsored by Enterprise Rent-A-Car

The raffle and silent auction featured a long list of exciting prizes, including a luxury holiday in the sun for 10, a VIP corporate box for 14 at an Emile Sande concert, designer handbags, shoes and statement outfits, and foodie and fun gifts galore!

Funds raised will be of huge benefit to Girls Out Loud moving forwards, enabling its Big Sister programme to be rolled out to even more teenage girls across the region.

Jane Kenyon of Girls Out Loud was overjoyed at the success of the event: “It means so much to see the huge amount of support we have received for our very first Shining Stars Ball. I think this is testament to the positive impact that Girls Out Loud is having upon the lives of so many young girls in the UK. We can’t wait for the next one, which I’m sure will be even bigger and better!”

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