Recently we were delighted to add two new faces to our GLOW NI team! Jemma and Sophie have been with us since January participating in our training programme Glow Academy. We were delighted to then be able to offer them two apprentice positions here at GLOW HQ! Sophie and Jemma will now be able to apply their new skills and they will continue to gain valuable experience within social enterprise and the charity sector.
We had a wee chat with Sophie to find out a little bit more about her journey with GLOW.
Hello Sophie! Tell us a bit about yourself!
Hiya! I’m Sophie, I’m 25 and from just outside of Belfast. I was living abroad in Japan for the past 5 years but recently moved back home to Northern Ireland due to the pandemic. I love music, art, fashion and travel. I am also a portrait photographer and have had so much fun shooting all the new YGG merch!
How was your Glow Academy experience?
The Glow Academy was amazing! I enjoyed it so much and really missed it when it came to an end. We learnt about things like embroidery, clothing production, social enterprises and social media marketing. Along with these we also got awarded accredited qualifications, to show for all of our hard work. One of my favourite parts of the Academy was the photography course at Belfast Exposed where we took on various photography projects all around town. The Real Me sessions were also really beneficial to me personally too!
You mentioned The Real Me sessions. Would you like to share your mental health journey?
I’ve struggled with my mental health since I was 7. I remember not wanting to go to primary school and having panic attacks the night before. Social anxiety has always been really present in my life and is something I’m only now in my mid-twenties starting to get to grips with. The more I was able to share my anxiety experiences with different people, the less alone in it I felt. I think a lot of people still fear the mental health stigma and feel ashamed about their mental health problems, when in reality more of us have had experiences than you might think, so it can be really important to talk to someone about your issues.
What do you get up to in a typical day as an apprentice?
When we come into the office in the morning we normally start with working on the YGG merch. We package up any orders that need sent off and make orders on the heat press and embroidery machines. Along with the clothing side of things we also take care of the social media accounts and give a helping hand to anyone who needs it!
What have you taken from the experience so far?
Working with GLOW has been absolutely amazing so far, the people here are so lovely and they have all been a delight to get to know! I notice such a big change in my confidence levels and feel like I’m improving every single day. I’d definitely urge anyone who’s thinking about doing a wee personal development programme with GLOW to give it a go!
Head over to the YGG Instagram to see what Sophie and Jemma are up to!
Fancy joining the movement and owning your own YGG merchandise to support women and girls? Shop here.