Melissa Hemsley Saffron Aldridge and Georgia Toffolo were among guests at the new White City House last night to mark the launch of a new initiative that will help young women across the UK to develop the confidence and skills they need to live, learn and earn.

Made up of leading female founders, entrepreneurs, business women, professionals and philanthropists who believe that all young women deserve the chance to succeed, regardless of their background or circumstances, Women Supporting Women is a new group that will enable The Prince's Trust support more young women through its programmes.

The group is aiming to change the lives of 6,500 young women by raising £10 million pounds over the next five years.

Guests at the launch event heard Chrissie Rucker OBE, Founding Patron of Women Supporting Women and Founder of The White Company, Mary Homer, CEO at The White Company, and Tara Leathers, Deputy CEO at The Prince’s Trust discuss the new initiative with June Sarpong MBE.

Guests also heard from young women who have been supported by The Prince’s Trust. Among these young women was Grace Graham, who founded her own workplace massage and wellbeing company – WorkSpa – after completing our Enterprise programme.

Grace, who once found herself facing addiction following the trauma of losing two people close to her, as well as the stress of bringing a person who assaulted her to court, turned to The Trust when she realised she wanted to run her own business. The support she received from the programme and from her Prince’s Trust business mentor enabled her to make her dream of running a business a reality.

Chrissie Rucker OBE, Founding Patron of Women Supporting Women and Founder of The White Company said:

"I believe that all young women deserve the chance to find their passion and succeed.

We hope to build the most incredible group of women in industry and philanthropy and together we want to make a very significant difference to our young women who need of a helping hand.

"We all face difficult challenges as we navigate life. I feel unbelievably lucky to have so much love, guidance and support as I have gone on my journey and without this I don’t believe I would be here today.

"The young women we are aiming to help simply don’t have this. But I have seen time and time again that with a little bit of the right help at the right time, these incredible young women go on to have very successful and happy futures. Their stories are so inspiring and there are so many more who need our help."

Tara Leathers, Deputy CEO at The Prince’s Trust said:

Young women have so much to offer and we have much to gain by encouraging their aspirations and their determination to succeed. The challenge we face is that far too many young women are at risk of falling through the cracks of society.

"An increasing number are excluded from school every year, self-harm rates among young women are rising and mental health issues are at an all time high. We know that with access to the right support at the right time, young women can pull through difficult times and develop the confidence and skills they need to thrive.

"We simply cannot allow their talent to go to waste, and that is why I am incredibly proud to be here at the launch of Women Supporting Women today. Together, we will create real opportunities that can empower the next generation of women to unlock their full potential."