Resilience, often defined as the ability to bounce back from adversity, is a quality inherent in us all. The power of resilience is intricately woven into our lives, molded by a complex interplay of genetics, personal history, environmental factors, and current situations. Our ability to harness resilience is a result of this intricate blend of elements shaping our experiences. Recent studies highlight personal connections as critical for resilience, forming the foundation to overcome challenges effectively. These findings illuminate the significant role our close bonds play in bolstering our ability to navigate adversity.
Engines of Social Mobility
Young individuals, especially from marginalized backgrounds, face barriers threatening their education and careers. Overcoming requires determination and targeted support for a brighter future. The promise of meritocratic education, wherein schools are hailed as engines of social mobility, often falls short when structural disadvantages persist. In countries like the UK and USA, minority students, especially Black students, face disproportionate punishments such as suspensions and expulsions, hindering their progress. Furthermore, biases, both conscious and unconscious, perpetuate inequalities, limiting the potential of marginalised populations.
A Beacon of Hope
However, amidst these challenges, a beacon of hope emerges in the form of innovative programmes like inemmo’s ‘Levelling-Up’ initiative. This programme recognises the multifaceted nature of resilience and addresses the unique needs of young people through personalised coaching and mentoring. By focusing on five key areas – parental influence, cultural identity, teacher impact, workplace environment, and coaching and mentoring – the Levelling-Up programme provides a holistic approach to building resilience.
Tailored Coaching Contract
Central to the programme’s success is the implementation of a tailored coaching contract for each participant. By understanding and addressing the specific needs and challenges faced by each individual, the programme creates a supportive environment where self-efficacy and confidence can flourish. Drawing from psychological approaches like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and the ‘Sedona Method,’ participants are guided to examine their beliefs, needs, and desires, empowering them to challenge self-limiting thoughts and explore their true potential.
The Global Pandemic and Mental Health
In the backdrop of the global pandemic, which has exacerbated mental health issues among young people, the Levelling-Up programme stands as a testament to the transformative power of resilience. Surveys conducted by reputable organisations such as Place2Be and the National Association of Head Teachers, underline the urgency of addressing mental health problems, including low self-esteem and depression, among students. The programme’s effectiveness is not only measured in statistical data but also in the heartfelt testimonials of its participants.
Impact of the Levelling-Up initiative
The impact of the Levelling-Up initiative transcends mere numbers; it weaves success stories that inspire and uplift. Participants, once burdened by self-doubt and societal biases, emerge as confident, resilient individuals ready to navigate the challenges of the world. Their journeys reflect the essence of resilience in action, demonstrating that with the right support, young people can overcome even the most formidable barriers.
One participant attests, “Without this coaching, I don’t think I would be where I am today. The structure, personalisation, and delivery pushed me to my limits, helping me uncover my true potential.” Another shares, “It has been life-changing – what happens when you have the courage to take your place in this world, and the programme helped me see that.”
The Levelling-Up programme not only equips young individuals with essential skills but also fosters a sense of pride and accomplishment. As one participant eloquently puts it, “I am now very proud of myself and all I have achieved.” These sentiments echo the sentiment that resilience is not just about bouncing back; it’s about soaring above, transcending limitations, and embracing one’s full potential.
The Power to Transform Lives
Resilience, when nurtured through meaningful connections and personalised support, has the power to transform lives. The Levelling-Up programme stands as a beacon of hope, illuminating the path for young people to overcome barriers, dream big, and carve out their pathways to success. As we celebrate the triumphs of these resilient individuals, let us recognise the profound impact of tailored support systems and continue to champion initiatives that empower the next generation to face adversity with courage and determination.
Authored by Atiya Sheikh and Joy Maitland (Business Psychologists and Directors at Inemmo)
Inemmo – Coaching to Inspire, Empower and Motivate.
Black History Month in the UK is a time of profound significance, a moment when we collectively acknowledge and celebrate the invaluable contributions of black people to British society. This year, Black History Month 2023 takes on added importance as it revolves around the theme ‘Saluting Our Sisters.’ This theme aims to spotlight the often overlooked but important role that black women have played in shaping history, inspiring change, and building communities. From literature and music to politics and social care, black women have made indelible marks across various fields, enriching the cultural tapestry of the world.
Music: Shirley Bassey, Estelle, Emeli Sandé and Lianne La Havas
The UK has been blessed with musical talents like Shirley Bassey whose iconic voice has graced the world with timeless classics. Her powerful performances, including the James Bond theme songs, have earned her global recognition. In contemporary music, Estelle stands tall, blending soul, R&B, and reggae influences to create music that resonates with audiences worldwide. Emeli Sandé, with her soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics, has become a household name in the UK music scene. Her powerful ballads and uplifting anthems have earned her critical acclaim and numerous awards, making her a role model for aspiring musicians. Lianne La Havas, a talented singer-songwriter and guitarist, has captured audiences with her unique blend of folk, soul, and R&B. Her artistry and musical innovation have garnered international recognition, proving the depth of talent within the UK’s black female musical community.
Fashion: Naomi Campbell, Grace Wales Bonner, Pat McGrath and Adwoa Aboah
In the world of fashion, Naomi Campbell’s influence transcends the runway. As a supermodel and activist, she has broken barriers and paved the way for countless black models. Grace Wales Bonner, a rising star in the fashion industry, challenges conventional norms with her gender-fluid designs, redefining the boundaries of contemporary fashion. Pat McGrath, often referred to as the “most influential makeup artist in the world,” has revolutionised the beauty industry with her creativity and innovation. Her work as a makeup artist and entrepreneur has redefined standards of beauty and inspired countless individuals. Adwoa Aboah, a British fashion model and activist, has not only graced the covers of renowned magazines but has also used her platform to advocate for mental health awareness and challenge traditional beauty norms, making her a powerful voice in the fashion industry.
Literature: Andrea Levy, Zadie Smith, Bernardine Evaristo and Malorie Blackman
In the realm of literature, black British women have gifted the world with powerful narratives and insightful stories. Andrea Levy, the celebrated British author, left an indelible legacy through her novels, particularly “Small Island,” which explores the lives of Jamaican immigrants in post-World War II Britain. Her work delves deep into themes of identity, race, and belonging, sparking essential conversations about the immigrant experience in the UK. Similarly, Zadie Smith, with her acclaimed works such as “White Teeth,” captivates readers with her unique voice, addressing themes of multiculturalism and social dynamics in modern Britain. Bernardine Evaristo, a celebrated author, is known for her innovative narrative styles and insightful exploration of race, gender, and identity. Her novel “Girl, Woman, Other” not only won the Booker Prize but also became a cornerstone of contemporary British literature, challenging conventions and broadening perspectives. In the contemporary literary landscape, Malorie Blackman stands out as a prolific author of young adult fiction. Through her best-selling series like “Noughts & Crosses,” she tackles issues of race and prejudice, sparking essential conversations among young readers.
Sport: Dina Asher-Smith, Nicola Adams and Denise Lewis
Black women athletes have showcased unparalleled skill and determination, inspiring generations. Dina Asher-Smith, an Olympic gold medallist, continues to break records in track and field, becoming a beacon of hope for aspiring athletes. Nicola Adams, a trailblazer in boxing, made history as the first openly LGBT person to win an Olympic boxing gold medal, championing both diversity and inclusion in sports. Denise Lewis, a former heptathlon champion, not only excelled in athletics but also became a prominent sports commentator and advocate for youth sports development.
Politics and Activism: Diane Abbott, Baroness Doreen Lawrence, and Dawn Butler
In the realm of politics, Diane Abbott made history by becoming the first black woman elected to the House of Commons. Her advocacy for social justice and racial equality has left an enduring impact on British politics. Baroness Doreen Lawrence, a tireless campaigner for justice, founded the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, working to empower young people and promote community cohesion. Dawn Butler, a prominent black politician, has been a Member of Parliament and has passionately championed issues related to social justice, equality, and diversity. Her unwavering dedication to creating positive change has made her a respected and influential figure in British politics, inspiring future generations to engage actively in the political arena.
Science and Technology: Maggie Aderin-Pocock and Anne-Marie Imafidon
In the fields of science and technology, black women have made significant strides. Maggie Aderin-Pocock, a renowned space scientist and science communicator, has inspired audiences with her passion for astronomy and space exploration. As a co-presenter of the BBC’s “The Sky at Night,” she has made complex scientific concepts accessible to the public. Anne-Marie Imafidon, a prodigy in mathematics and computing, co-founded Stemettes, an organisation aimed at inspiring the next generation of women in STEM fields. Her pioneering work encourages young girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Celebrating Black History Month
As we celebrate Black History Month 2023 under the theme ‘Saluting Our Sisters,’ it is important to recognise the remarkable contributions of black women throughout history. Their resilience, creativity, and leadership have shaped the cultural, social, and political landscape of the United Kingdom. By acknowledging and honouring the achievements of black women, we not only celebrate their individual triumphs but also highlight the collective strength and diversity that enrich our society.
This October, let us stand united in appreciation, gratitude, and celebration of the invaluable legacy left by these pioneering black sisters, and let their stories inspire future generations to continue the pursuit of excellence and equality for all.
Until next time…
Best of the Best
Feel free to contact us here