Leading Scottish philanthropist, Chris Weir, has joined forces with The Prince’s Trust Scotland to help hundreds of young women across the country to succeed.

Chris is the founding patron of a new initiative, Women Supporting Women Scotland that aims to change the lives of over 600 young women by raising £1million in the next four years.

The group aims to attract leading females from across the country, including entrepreneurs, business professionals and philanthropists, who are united in the belief that all young women deserve the chance to fulfil their potential regardless of their background or circumstances.

With over 40 years of supporting young people, The Trust which helps over 10,000 young Scots each year, is well placed to understand the unique barriers that young women face. An increasing number are excluded from school every year, self-harm rates are rising, and poor mental health is prevalent. We also knows that with access to the right support at the right time, young women can overcome difficult times and develop the confidence and skills they need to go into employment, training, further education or business.

Rachel Smyth from Paisley reached out to The Prince’s Trust to help her discover a career after struggling to find employment while raising her son.

Rachel, who often went without dinner to ensure her son was fed said:

Most girls my age were out with their friends and weren’t thinking about having babies, but I was a single mum trying to get through school, while holding down a part-time job and caring for my son.

“The Prince’s Trust Scotland allowed me to learn new skills, but it also taught me that life can get better with the correct support. I went from nowhere to getting a job with the NHS in just six weeks. The women in my life inspire me every day as they’ve all gone through a lot, but are still standing strong.”

Chris Weir, founding Patron of Women Supporting Women Scotland, said:

Empowering young women to unlock their full potential is a cause very close to my heart. As founding patron of this exciting new initiative, I look forward to helping The Trust build a collective network of female philanthropists, who will join me in creating real opportunities to change the lives of hundreds of young women across Scotland.

Kate Still, Director for The Prince’s Trust Scotland, added:

“We are delighted that Chris has chosen to assist Women Supporting Women Scotland. By spearheading this ambitious new campaign, Chris is helping to transform lives across Scotland; bringing leading women together to create real opportunities for young women so they can live, learn and earn.”

To join Women Supporting Women Scotland or to find out more about the group, contact Laura-Jane Sheridan, Head of Philanthropy for The Prince’s Trust Scotland, on 0141 225 3390 or email lj.sheridan@princes-trust.org.uk