ThinkHER Ambition received £5,000 from Common Call Fund which they will use as part of the development of the mobile app: Bloss.m which will serve the community of young women who engage in their employment and education programmes. Below they outline the need for their application from the perspective of one of the girls in their community: Sabrina.
Sabrina is a 17-year old young woman who lives in Ilford with both her parents and is an only child. As such, her primary outlet for expression is focused on her after school activities, such as running club, basketball and photography club. According to her friends, the opportunity for Sabrina to hang out with her friends outside was the panacea to her troubles.
As a result of the pandemic, Sabrina has found it difficult to adapt. Not only has she been struggling with adjusting to online classes, being an interactive learner herself, she feels cut off from her club mates as her extracurricular activities are cancelled and her inability to meet with her friends due to restrictions.
This has massively impacted her confidence. More worryingly, with her academic curriculum tonally shifting from GCSEs towards A-Levels, the anxiety of future planning for Sabrina had begun sinking in.
"Back then, I was still figuring out where I'm meant to be and what I'm supposed to do."
Speaking to her teachers at Ursuline Academy, they sympathise with her situation, especially watching Sabrina grow from a once outgoing young woman into an inward isolated individual. Sabrina mentioned that she did not know who to turn to during this period, admitting that her distance with her parents made it hard for her to communicate how she truly felt.
As such, she had heard from a friend about ThinHER Ambition and an app called Bloss.m. Her friend invited her to one of the research sessions for the app’s development. Sabrina was curious and decided to try it out, especially since if her friends were on it, it would be another thing to talk about. What she had found on Bloss.m was to her surprise.
"I think Bloss.m is what girls like me need. During the research focus group, I felt like I had found other people who just like me struggled with their confidence, worrying about school, education, themselves, about even what they want to do in the future. I had a lot of these questions on my mind and knowing that people out there had the same questions gave me some comfort, and so we started talking about it."
The research focus group made Sabrina confident to speak on different topics that she would not have otherwise known about, such as comedy and architecture.
"It was nice that there was a group of other girls who were also interested in architecture. It's something that I wanted to learn more about but I didn't know any teachers in school who could guide me in the right direction, and the online resources didn't help me in answering some basic questions I had, like what it's like to work in that particular field."
Thanks to funding received from Common Call, ThinkHER Ambition will now translate findings from the research group Sabrina took part in, into the architecture and user experience of the Bloss.m app users.
Theodora, co-founder of ThinkHER ambition states, “Bloss.m will change lives. Young women are able to come together, connect, challenge themselves and learn all in one place. We are creating an environment where young women feel confident to make better informed decisions about their future and grow their network. This is only the beginning.”