A single mother from Robertsbridge has started an organisation in the hope of taking pressures off young people in the community.
Jess Johnson, who has previously been awarded for her work with young people, launched Belles of the Ball after reading about the impact social media and society can have on a young person’s mental wellbeing.
She said: “Young people in general are struggling with pressures of society, sexuality, jobs, mental health, abuse, bullying. My aim is to take some of those pressures off one tiny step at a time, to make a small difference in a massive epidemic.
“This has all been on my heart a great deal, especially with being a single mum. I was still living in a homeless hostel when I became pregnant with my son. I also have an eight-year-old daughter.
“Also being a homeless young person, living in a homeless hostel and having to deal with the effects that being in that situation can have on a person, from experience I really want to help.”
Launching her project, she said she hoped to have ‘monthly missions’ where people can discuss a particular issue, such as period poverty, bullying or foodbanks, to learn about it.
Secondly, Jess said she would like to work with trained beauticians and hairdressers who were willing to donate their time to young women and men who are in need of pampering but cannot afford to have it done.
Thirdly, she would like to set up a clothing bank of modern teen clothing where Belles of the Ball can offer out items to young people in the community.
Jess added: “When I lived in the hostel, I remember we had clothing donations given to us. I’ve experienced first hand what that means and can do to a persons confidence.
“This is all very much just the start of what I would eventually like this organisation to become and be.
“I want it to become an outreach platform, a platform where we can direct young people to help and support and give out a small amount of what is so desperately needed for this generation.”
If you would like to get involved, search ‘Belles of the Ball’ into Facebook to like the page and follow all the latest updates.