At Leila & Geoffrey we support artists, charities and creative businesses and love to champion social enterprises that really make an impact.
With only a few weeks of 2018 underway, mental health issues continue to dominate the headlines. According to figures from NHS Digital, one in ten teenage girls is being referred for specialist mental health services and an alarming rise in self-harm is reported, with a 68% increase in cases since 2011 amongst teenage girls.
These make for concerning statistics, but thankfully coincide with heightened awareness of mental health issues, positive aims to reduce the stigma surrounding it and high-profile figures openly discussing matters that affect so many people.
Like award-winning Ghanian-English supermodel and activist, Adwoa Aboah. The Vogue cover star and winner of the 2017 Fashion Awards’ Model of the Year accolade has been searingly open about her battles with depression and addiction. An activist for mental health issues, she has spoken about the attempt to take her own life in 2015 and participated in a moving and courageous interview with her mother, Camilla Lowther, for the Heads Together campaign.
With her own journey through mental health issues, Adwoa created Gurls Talk, an online platform to educate and inform women across the UK and provide a safe space for them. Gurls Talk is a community and movement that encourages young girls and women to talk, without judgement or stigma, on a subject that is troubling them or that they need more information about. Topics include, but are not limited to, addiction, sexuality, body image and racial diversity and young women are encouraged to tell their story or share a poem or illustration for submission on the platform.
Gurls Talk began in 2015 as an Instagram account where women were encouraged to share their stories and has since grown into a community of over 139k and events including day-long empowerment festivals with talks by Adwoa, relationship experts and psychologists. The platform tackles subjects ranging from anxiety, sexual misconduct and negative thoughts and signposts its followers to charities and enterprises that can help, like mental health charity Mind.
The information provided by Gurls Talk is not intended to be a supplement or alternative to health care such as proper psychological evaluation, diagnosis and treatment and the platform offers knowledge and support rather than therapy. However, licensed psychologist Dr Lauren Hazzouri has partnered with the platform and shares her perspective and offers evidence-based insights.
Adwoa is undoubtedly beautiful with a career in fashion most can only dream about, but she is also courageous and smart.Gurls Talk provides a safe space to share experiences and feelings as well as gain strength and hope from others and is an influential and movement to help raise awareness of mental health issues. The team at Leila & Geoffrey wish them all the very best.
At Leila and Geoffrey we support artists, charities and creative businesses and love to champion social enterprises that really make an impact.
Like Smart Works, a UK charity that dresses and coaches women for interview success.
Choosing what to wear for a job interview is a critical element of the overall preparation. While ultimately your skills, capability and experience should be the key factors to drive success, undoubtedly what you wear can also influence a panel’s decision. But what if you don’t have access to a killer wardrobe, are on a low-income or your confidence is depleted after being out of work for some time?
That’s where Smart Works comes in. They exist to help unemployed women into work, by developing their interview skills and providing them with professional clothes to boost their confidence. The charity welcomes any woman who needs their service, has a job interview secured and who has been referred by one of the hundreds of organisations they partner with including the local Job Centre Plus, Centrepoint and Solace.
At one of their six locations across the UK and with the help of 250 trained volunteers, women can enjoy a focused two-hour session with the Smart Works power team, comprised of two elements; (1) clothing advice and expertise from highly skilled and trained stylists and (2) interview advice from senior managers, HR professionals and executive coaches.
At the end of the session, Smart Works clients get a complete outfit of clothes and accessories to keep and interview training to help them believe in their ability to succeed. If they bag that dream job, they can come back for more clothing to see them through to their first pay cheque. The clothes are high-quality and donated by other working women, high profile fashion labels and leading retailers including Whistles, Evans and Hobbs.
Patrons include fashion designer Betty Jackson CBE, comedian, writer and producer Jennifer Saunders andleading fashion retail figure Jane Shepherdson MBE.Charity Ambassadors include Barclays Director Caroline Graham,brand and image consultant / The Telegraph columnist Isabel Spearman and Samantha Cameron, Founder and Creative Director of contemporary womenswear label Cefinn, all bringing their unique drive, passion and style to the table.
It’s not just the team that are impressive, the statistics are too. Smart Works dressed over 2,800 women in 2016 in stylish, high-quality clothes and over 1 in 2 women get the job after using its service, with half the charity’s clients finding employment within one month. They were winners in the social care, advice and support category at the Charity Awards 2017 who rewarded their efforts in cross-partner working, addressing diversity and inequality issues and helping women from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Smart Works helps women to feel confident, look fabulous, succeed at their job interview and move on with their life. The charity is on a mission to grow across the country and increase its reach to women who really need them.
Women look in the mirror and see hope and potential; they see themselves again. It’s simple, practical and empowering and here at Leila and Geoffrey we wish them all the very best.
We’ve had the pleasure of being able to work with the beautiful London-based singer/songwriter IMAN. Her songwriting credits include the likes of Ed Sheerdan, Rudimental, and Kanye West, and now she’s releasing her own music under her own record label, Shop Front Records. Growing up in a household where her goals of working in music were actively discouraged, Iman made the courageous move to leave home at 16 to follow her dreams. This powerhouse was recently featured in Wonderland Magazine, and spoke of how she got to where she is now. Read the interview here
Listen to the most recent single, Wishing, on Spotify
First of all, we’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who came out to LCPC’s big launch party a few weeks ago. It’s an exciting time, and we’re grateful to all who helped us celebrate this grand opening! The door is now open to this beautiful safe space. Whether it’s counselling you seek, or it’s you yourself who wishes to be a counsellor, LCPC offers a wide range of services. Low-cost appointments are available, as well as counselling courses – both certificate and diploma programs.
Also, there’s a pretty great deal if you pay a whopping £10 a year – become an LCPC member and receive a 10% discount on LCPC CPD events, talks and conferences. They’ve got some great events coming up, notably Michael Jacobs on November 25th who will be giving a workshop entitled ‘ Oedipus is Alive and Well’. Entrigued? Take a gander over here!
To cap off these exciting few weeks, Jason has been recently featured in a Daily Mail article to offer his insight on the growing number of women who ask their children not to call them ‘mum’.
Speaking to Maureen Brookbanks, he says ‘For some, there is a very real struggle in coming to terms with the life-long identity of being a mother…I suggest mums think carefully about the meaning and impact their demand not to be called Mum may have on their child. Relationships which use parental first names can still be very close, but why create a difference which the child will be impacted by?’
Read more about this phenomenon and what Jason has to say about it here
Sula Mae had a very exciting first half of 2017, what with her new EP ‘Blind’ peaking at an impressive no.4 on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter charts!
In her interview with Beat Media, Sula explained a little about the title track which you can watch below. ‘I fell for a teacher at the school I worked at. I managed to build up the courage to tell him and realised he didn’t feel the same, it was all just a fascination I’d built up in my head. So ‘Blind’ is about that experience, of falling really fast and hard for someone, then realising afterwards that you kind of went a bit crazy and it wasn’t real. But I think you have to put yourself out there into these uncomfortable, vulnerable spaces or you’d never learn a thing.’
We love how our artists are using their voices to speak about important issues in our society that need addressing. Like Mila Falls, who is about to launch her ‘Life Unlabelled’ workshops in Norwich, Sula ran the #takehername campaign, which encouraged the support of women in music for International Woman’s Day. She used her EP release show to collaborate with Laid Bare Live’s launch of a new monthly event – ‘Songbirds’ – a series at 93 Feet East created to celebrate talented women in the music industry. PRS for Music reported that their membership of over 95,000 songwriters and composers is only 13 per cent female. And reportedly, there have been cases of female writers pitching songs under a male pseudonym to give themselves a better chance. The #takehername campaign’s aim is to help society move on from pigeon holing female musicians by image and understand that good musicianship and songwriting is all that counts.
Sula’s writing was featured in The F Word, so you can read all about #takehername here
‘Mila is amply prepared for the spotlight, and has proven as much with her the recent release of her latest single’ – Beat Media
‘Mila channels positivity and you get the sense that music courses through her veins; you can almost hear it pulsating’ – Rock Shot Magazine
‘Transporting you somewhere glorious and giving ‘escapism’ an entirely new meaning, this track delivers smooth tones, sung in a modulated fashion mixed with an understated cool’ – Niji Magazine
These are just some of the things that people have been saying about Mila Falls’ new single, ‘Guilty Pleasure! It is an intoxicating, upbeat track, which celebrates how wonderful that feeling is it is to feel truly alive. Give it a watch here:
And it’s no rest for the wicked – freshly off a successful BBC Radio tour, and currently preparing to perform on the party islands this summer, Mila has also begun the ‘Life Unlabelled’ Campaign with our very own Amy Walshe! ‘Life Unlabelled’ hopes to help challenge the stigma of mental health issues. Starting in Norwich, Mila is planning a series of workshops in schools and community organisations around the UK. The workshops will focus on the use of creative writing, poetry, song writing, and visual art to get young people talking about their anxieties. Having suffered with anxiety and depression, Mila sees music not only has her means to live, but also as a tool to get her through the day.
To learn more about when Mila will next be coming to you, sign up for our mailing list and stay up to date!