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A group of seven girls from Blackburn Youth Zone have been recognised nationally as being the leaders of tomorrow as they were presented the award for Health & Wellbeing at the OnSide charity awards at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London. Not only were they presented the award by HRH the Duke Of Sussex but they were praised for the fantastic work they were doing in inspiring other girls to believe and achieve their aspirations today.

The evening which was attended by over 4000 young people cross the OnSide network recognised young people’s exceptional achievements from Youth Zones across the country and awards were presented to those who have made a real difference in their community, have breakthrough talent, or have overcome challenging circumstances.

The Strong Sisters group is formed by seven girls aged between 13-25 who come from a wide range of diverse backgrounds across Blackburn with Darwen. They formed as a group in March 2019 funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to run the twelve month project. Over the past year the girls have dedicated their time to researching the history of successful and inspiring women from Blackburn with Darwen with the aim of inspiring others. They have held a number of small exhibitions so far reaching over 150 members of the community and are planning to go bigger in the new year with an exhibition at Blackburn Museum to celebrate International Women’s Day.  The next stage of the project will see them become leaders at Blackburn Youth Zone where they will pass on the knowledge they have found to younger girls and help them also believe anything is possible. 

Hannah Allen CEO Blackburn Youth Zone said

“Blackburn Youth Zone believes that the young people of Blackburn with Darwen are the leaders of tomorrow. It is vital that through projects like the Strong Sisters that we provide young people with key leadership tools so that they can then go out into the world with all the skills they need to believe they can achieve anything they want.  We are so proud of our Strong Sisters, they are such an inspiration for all young women. The strong sisters are creating leadership legacy for young women across BwD and the country”. 

Zunairah Iqbal Blackburn Youth Zone strong sister said

“Being part of the strong sisters has given me such an insight into how many inspirational women have come from Blackburn with Darwen. We are passionate about passing on that message to younger generations and letting them know they can achieve any dream they have. Being presented the award by Prince Harry was such an honour and an experience we will keep with us forever”

Strong Sisters is just one of the many projects currently being ran at Blackburn Youth Zone which helps to raise young people’s aspirations. Once completing the Strong Sisters project in the new year the girls will move on to become young leaders where they will continue to gain skills to develop them into tomorrow’s leaders. If you would like any more information on how to become a Blackburn Youth Zone young leader or any other projects running at Blackburn Youth Zone please email