Previous Girls Projects


Raised Voices: Year 3 – November 2015 to October 2016

Watch full Raised Voices 3 film (25 mins)

The third film in our Raised Voices three-year female empowerment project funded by PHF and LBBD MOPAC – this year’s resource is entitled There is Hope and was launched in September 2016. Film produced by Scott Miles.

Raised Voices: Year 1 – November 2013 to October 2014

Watch full Raised Voices 1 film (13 mins)

Download Raised Voices 1 resource booklet (pdf, 1200kb): raised-voices-resource-v4b

Raised Voices began in 2013 as a three-year female leadership and peer mentoring programme funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF) and supported by the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham (LBBD) MOPAC.  Our group of over 50 participants from the Borough met weekly to use a range of drama techniques to explore hard-hitting subjects affecting young women today, including body image, sexual exploitation, domestic violence and female genital mutilation.

Working with Arc’s professional team of facilitators, teachers, writers, actors, artists and a dedicated filmmaker, and with input from external specialists, including the Police and anti-FGM campaigner, Leyla Hussein, the group produced a brand new short film resource and accompanying booklet designed (linked above) to present these issues for discussion amongst their peers, whilst encouraging female empowerment and solidarity.

The first Raised Voices film resource was launched at a special Celebratory Event, including Jack Petchey Awards presentation, at Arc’s home at Kingsley Hall in Dagenham on 10 July 2014.  The Launch was attended by Leyla Hussein, local Councillors including the Mayor of Barking & Dagenham – Cllr Elizabeth Kangethe, teachers, Metropolitan Police, YOS, healthcare specialists, youth workers, PHF project funders and the families of the girls involved.  Find out more about the Event.

The film and presentation went on to tour to over 20 schools, youth centres and at conferences around the Borough and beyond and the group has won both local and national recognition and awards.


Finding the Words: February to October 2012

Watch Finding the Words film trailer (2 mins – edited by a participant from the original film):

Download Finding the Words resource booklet (pdf, 820kb): Finding-the-words-resource-v3

In 2012, Finding the Words became Arc’s first female leadership project to be funded by PHF.  Over 20 girls from five secondary schools across LBBD participated in 15 weekly sessions to look at issues around sexual and domestic violence in teenage relationships including rape, abuse, exploitation, and what stops girls from reporting these crimes.  The group worked together to undertake research, interview professionals, and use drama to explore the issues they wanted to focus on. Participants wrote poetry, short scripts and devised original performance pieces, which culminated in the Finding the Words film and booklet resource.

Finding the Words was launched in September 2012 and the group went on to tour their new film and presentation resource to schools and youth groups, discussing the issues arising during workshops, including sexting, the law, female solidarity and language and how it affects us.  The team delivered 13 sessions to over 1150 young people and went on to receive a Police Commendation at a special ceremony in 2013 from Barking & Dagenham Borough Commander, Chief Superintendent Andy Ewing.


Girls Have Their Say: November 2011 to July 2012

Download Girls Have Their Say resource booklet (pdf, 1200kb): GHTS-resource-v4-lowres

Funded by The Home Office through the Communities Against Gangs, Guns and Knives Fund, Girls Have Their Say was a ground-breaking new two-year, girls-only film and drama project.  The programme followed on from Girl E – the third play in Arc’s Blade Trilogy by Clifford Oliver – developed from the need to highlight and tackle the often invisible subject of girls and gangs.  The themes raised included relationships, honey traps, baby-mothers, weapon-carrying, domestic violence and sexual exploitation.

After ten weeks of intensive sessions, our group of over 40 young women aged 13 to 18 from Barking and Dagenham schools, produced an original short film and resource booklet exploring the many issues surrounding girls and gangs in our society today, which included powerful input from a female ex-gang member.

The film was launched in spring 2012 (find out more) and the group was subsequently asked to share it with CPS London at their International Women’s Day celebration (find out more).  The film and workshop programme toured to over 600 young people across London in order to help spread awareness of the risks and dangers of gang involvement.

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