Low body confidence is damaging people’s lives. It affects everyone – all ages, both sexes, and starts young. It impacts people’s physical and mental health and holds them back in life, stopping them from achieving all that they could.

Our project worked with two groups of young women who are carers and they have achieved the CYQ award in Body Image and Relationship to Wellbeing. One of the unanticipated issues raised by both groups is the influence of social media on body image. The young women all reported some form of bullying or provocation through social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter in relation to their body image. Through discussion and learning we were able to explore confidence-building strategies that could be applied to their situations.

Our work was shortlisted for the ‘Education outside the classroom’ category of the Body Confidence Awards 2014 held at the House of Commons, and we have been commended by the Chief Executive of YMCA England Denise Hatton for helping raise the profile of the great work of the YMCA.