Make a Wish: Meet Young Women’s Trust Ambassador Issy

‘Tis the season for giving, which is why we have partnered with The Young Women’s Trust to create beautiful Christmas decorations. They’re the perfect gift for loved ones with each decoration offering a meaningful wish embroidered on the back. They also donate toward the trust supporting women to be the best they can be. 

We spoke to Issy whose life has been positively impacted by the support of the Young Women’s Trust. 

 Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your experience with Young Women’s Trust.
My first experience of Young Women’s Trust was the Work It Out telephone coaching service. I used Work It Out soon after graduating, I had experienced a period of homelessness and lived in temporary accommodation during my final year. I wasn’t sure about my future after such a turbulent year – I needed help to gain clarity and realign myself with my goals. 
I’ve been involved with Young Women’s Trust for the past five years through voluntary work and campaigning. For the past two years I have directly influenced the direction of the charity as a member of their Advisory Panel, a group of young women with experience of living on low or no pay.

How did support from Young Women’s Trust impact your life?
In the past, I saw my role as a young single mum as a barrier to my success and development. Through Work It Out coaching and by being connected to so many other young women who have also overcome difficult challenges, my opinion of what limits me has changed.

I also work full time now, whereas before I worked a mixture of low-paid or zero-hour contract jobs. When I’m in the office I feel that I can own the space I occupy – I don’t feel anxious about how my co-workers might perceive me because I am confident in the fact that I have worked just as hard to be among them. Despite experiencing social anxiety, I went on to postgraduate study – I graduated in July and was the only one on my course to graduate with distinction.

Young Women’s Trust understands the need for women to be empowered and nurtured. Throughout my journey that is exactly how I have felt – empowered, encouraged, supported and nurtured. The support I received from my Work It Out coach was unparalleled to any support service I’ve accessed before, thanks to the flexibility and to how aware the coaches are of some of the challenges young women like me have faced and continue to face.

In your opinion, what are some of the biggest struggles young women face today?
Some of the biggest challenges faced by women are often not in their control; low pay, sexist discrimination, issues with mental wellbeing, difficulties in finding secure housing… I think that’s what makes my work with Young Women’s Trust so important. Particularly as a member of the Advisory Panel, where I have been able to share my lived experiences and talk about how I think we can improve the situation for other young women experiencing similar things.

Being self-assured about where you are and what you are doing is so necessary. Every young woman should be able to feel secure in that way, regardless of the challenges going on around them.

During the stressful festive season, how do you take care of your mental wellbeing?
I love the festive season – I call it the season of self-indulgence. As soon as the clocks go back, I stock up on whipped cream, sprinkles and hot chocolate. Sometimes I make a mug for me and my daughter when I get back from work as a treat. We sit together, chat and have a giggle – it’s nice

What is your favourite positive affirmation?
“Nothing is perfect and don’t ever try to be. Doing and learning is enough.” I love that affirmation because it stops you from obsessing about the doubts you have and encourages you to be proactive instead.

Which wish would you gift to yourself?
If I could gift myself a wish, I would gift myself ‘Courage’ – courage to always do what I feel is the right thing to do for myself and those around me, at home and at work.

Which wish would you give to your best friend?
I wish all my friends ‘Good Fortune’ – particularly as we face environmental and political uncertainty. A little bit of good luck and positivity can go a long way.

Shop the decorations now