The charity has been developed, following the tragic death of Ashdon Muirhead who
ended her own life at just the age of 14 years. As a teenager Ashdon struggled with
peer pressure, relational aggression at school and feeling confident about being
herself in a society that pressurizes young women to be and act a certain way. Many
young women struggle with relational and aspirational deprivation, in a growing world
were youth are encouraged to develop relationships via the virtual ICT world. Many
young women seek verification and affirmation from social media which leaves them
vulnerable and exposed to a harsh and an unfriendly virtual world.
The charity aims to provide vulnerable young women who may be suffering from
self esteem issues, feelings of isolation, peer pressure, relational bullying, family
breakdowns, stress and anxiety, involvement in criminality and gangs and those who
may be at risk of exclusion; with a mentor.
We work with girls between the ages of 11-16 and living in the Merton, Lambeth and
Croydon areas. By working in youth clubs, schools and other youth organisation we
are able to match a female who has been referred or who have themselves asked for
help, with a female mentor. The mentor’s main role is to be a friend and someone
the young female is able to trust and share their worries and concerns with.
What makes AJA mentoring different?
AJA mentoring meetings are conducted in a neutral and familiar setting where
the female teenager and her mentor decide. The park, a fast food outlet or
places of interest for e.g.
Mentee gatherings will ensure all female teenagers on the programme; have
the opportunity to build further and new friendships in a comfortable and
All AJA mentors are trained using the XLP mentoring model. Further mentor
training is conducted throughout the year developing mentors further in their
Mentor network meetings will ensure all volunteer mentors feel supported and
where good practice can be shared
AJA mentors do not view their role, as being a parent, counselor, rescuer,
social worker or other authority figure. An AJA mentor’s fundamental role is to
be a friend.
Are you able to spare two hours a week for a year?
Are you a good listener?
Are you able to commit to an initial mentor training sessions for two
Can you be a trusted friend to a teenage girl who is facing different
If you answered yes to all those questions. Ashdon Jazz Academy is looking
Do you find it hard to talk about how you are feeling?
Would you like to spend time with someone who will just listen to some
of your worries and concern?
Are you feeling isolated, lack self confidence, being bullied, worry about
how you look, feel pressurised by your friends??
If you answered yes to all those questions.
Ashdon Jazz Academy wants to help you.