Sisters use grief after losing mother to empower young women

Three sisters who lost their mother in 2012 have turned their grief into a force for good by creating an organisation that empowers young women.

Today, BelEve UK – founded by sisters Marsha, 45, Rochelle, 37, and Chyloe Powell, 41, and based in Brockley Road, Lewisham– is calling out for mentors to empower and support 100 young girls in achieving their full potential.  

BelEve UK founder, Marsha Powell, said: “After the sudden death of my mother, my sisters and I became fully aware of the value of having a positive female role model in our life who instilled the importance of courage and the power of exercising your voice.” 

Sisters Marsha, Rochelle and Chyloe Powell live in Crofton Park, Lewisham, where they grew up, and founded BelEve in 2013. Their new campaign Believe in Her Success, aims to address the gender stereotypes limiting girls aged between 16 to 22.

According to a 2017 study by the UK’s largest youth organisation dedicated to girls – Girlguiding – 55 per cent of girls aged between seven and 21 say gender stereotypes affect their ability to say what they think.

Girls taking part in one BelEve UK’s programmes with Marsha Powell in the centre (Picture: BelEve UK)

The study also showed that 42 per cent of girls aged between seven and 10 thought boys are better than girls at being strong, and 95 per cent of girls aged 11 to 21 said the advertising industry should show more positive diverse representations of girls and women.

So far, the non-profit organisation has worked with more than 15,000 young women, offering support through mentorship programs, workshops, and events that run all year round.

A study by mentoring company, Moving Ahead, found that 87 per cent of mentors and mentees feel empowered by their mentoring relationships, leading to increased confidence and self-assurance.  

Rosa Sibaja, one of BelEve UK’s mentors, said: “Mentoring for me is an opportunity to share my skill-set with someone who has less experience and hopefully, they can learn something. After working years in communications, I thought this is a real opportunity for me to have a real purpose, give back and share my experience.”

For more information on becoming a mentor or to get involved with BelEve UK, visit www.beleveuk.org

Pictured top: From Left, BelEve UK founders Rochelle Powell, Marsha Powell and Chyloe Powell (Picture: BelEve UK)

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