Join the Leeds Girls Can Team

We want you to help us persuade more women and girls to get active, whatever their age, size, background or ability.

Leeds Girls Can roles


What is a volunteer?

A Leeds Girls Can Volunteer: Gives up their free time to support Leeds Girls Can in a variety of ways. This could include: helping at events; promoting LGC through social media and flyering; taking registers at sessions; buddying up with new participants and being welcoming at groups; helping to set up and take down equipment and supporting leaders to ensure their sessions runs smoothly; Championing LGC and many other unpaid roles.


What is a Group Leader?

A Leeds Girls Can Group Leader: Commits to a regular physical activity session which fits into the Leeds Girls Can program. They are unpaid and agree to take on admin responsibilities (in line with their qualification guidelines) for that group. Initially leaders are supported by Leeds Girls Can, and the vision is to help groups become self-sustainable after a three month period. Leaders are required to collect participant information, and keep a record of attendance to pass on to the Women and Girls Activator on a monthly basis.


What is an Ambassador?

A Leeds Girls Can Ambassador: Goes through an appropriate recruitment process and signs up to Leeds City Council and Sport England’s policies and procedures. The main aim of an Ambassador is to get more women and girls in Leeds physically active. Ambassadors are required to attend monthly meetings which are vital for receiving guidance and insight around This Girl Can, this helps support their role. An Ambassador is not paid for their time, they are not required to lead a group and the roles can vary. For further information on these roles contact: Dani Penney

We will be recruiting more ambassadors later in the year. Follow us on social media @Leedsgirlscan for regular updates.

Applications Closed

This is Emma

Emma is a mother of two lively boys aged 2 and 5 and works part time as a transport planner. She used to run in her mid 20’s. On approaching 40 she took up running again after a 16 year break with the aim of completing the great north run again which she ended up doing 4 months pregnant.

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Emma Young

Emma Young

41, Pudsey

Meet Emma

She can often be found run or cycle commuting between Pudsey and Leeds.  She is a keen park-runner and is passionate about getting ladies active both for the physical and mental benefits.  In December 2016 Emma became a Leeds Girls Can ambassador and has since become a qualified run leader and was instrumental in the first Leeds Girls Can duathlon.

Interesting fact about Emma:

This is Lisa

Lisa, mum to 6 year old Jasmine, is a full time student undertaking a Childhood Studies degree at Leeds University. She lives in Beeston (Leeds) with husband John. She is a green belt in Karate and loves to go on camping holidays. Lisa isn’t a particularly confident character and it’s her journey from her life just six months ago to now which inspired me to write this case study.

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Lisa Fielding

Lisa Fielding

31, Beeston

Meet Lisa

Lisa, mum to 6 year old Jasmine, is a full time student undertaking a Childhood Studies degree at Leeds University. She lives in Beeston (Leeds) with husband John. She is a green belt in Karate and loves to go on camping holidays. Lisa isn’t a particularly confident character and it’s her journey from her life just six months ago to now which inspired me to write this case study.

In February 2016, Lisa attended my first Leeds Girls Can (LGC) session which was a beginner running group in Beeston. She was shy and nervous with a stern look on her face. Although she enjoys exercise, she has never been a sporty person and had only come along due to her friends dragging her with them. As the weeks went by she became a very familiar face, challenging herself to run a bit faster or a bit longer at each session. She soon became one of the front runners in the group. As we approached summer, I started up a cycling group and regular rounders session in Middleton Park. Starting off with the rounders, Lisa gave it a go along with her friends. Not only was she nervous (as she’d not played since school) but the fact she was the only “leftie” of the group made her feel singled out. It took a while for me to realise she wasn’t giving up. I was certain after the emotion she showed throughout the session that rounders wasn’t for her- boy was I wrong! She is now pushing herself to play in organised matches which is something she would never have done in her none-competitive nature.

A week later came the cycle ride and there she was, requesting to borrow a bike and helmet. I’d assumed by this point she just really liked the exercise but to my shock, she’d not been on a bike in over ten years and was absolutely terrified. She battled through the first ride and her attitude went from “I’m never doing that again” to turning up on the next one saying “I’m determined to conquer my fear”. A few weeks ago Lisa was on a camping trip in the lakes when I received a text from her: “Hey, I just wanted to drop you a message to tell you we’ve hired bikes this morning. Without your sessions there is no way I would have even considered it”. I felt really proud that Leeds Girls Can and my role as an activator is having such an impact on people’s lives.

Lisa continues to come to the running group and is about to complete the Leader in Running Fitness Course which she will use to volunteer to lead the group. As a person who doesn’t like to be centre of attention, she still feels scared to do it but knows she has a support network around her with the women in the LGC sessions. Our social media groups offer further support and encouragement and is helping her become more confident in tackling her fears. Her passion for LGC shows immensely as she’s constantly helping to share our promotion on Facebook and talk to people about the activities we provide. She has helped out with events to engage more women and shares her stories to motivate other shy and nervous women to try something new.

Lisa is going to become of the first three women in our LGC Ambassador scheme to be a role model for women. The way she has persisted in things she was scared of has led her to become more confident as a person and achieve things she’d not dreamed of. She has now got rid of the phrase “I can’t do that” and replaced it with “this girl can”.

Interesting fact about Lisa:

As well as being a mum, wife and full-time student at Leeds Uni I’m also a green belt in Karate and a bit of camping enthusiast!

This is Liz

This is Liz. She is a retired Yoga instructor from Roundhay (Leeds). She has many hobbies including: crochet; hiking; reading and socialising over coffee and cake. She first joined Leeds Girls Can (LGC) in March 2016 at my beginner running/walking group in Beeston. Since then, she’s taken part in some of my other sessions in Leeds and we have formed a very good friendship.

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Liz Stephensen-Payne

Liz Stephensen-Payne

65, Roundhay

Meet Liz

Whilst having a pit stop along our bike ride in Roundhay (one of my monthly rides), it was over a coffee and whopping piece of flapjack Liz began to reveal her background to me. I knew she was a determined and ambitious lady as she had previously told me she was learning to swim and about to climb the three peaks with her husband. It was the first time she’d ever gone on a bike ride with a group, in fact, she’d only just learned to ride her bike a couple of months beforehand! There were some nettle stings along the way but Liz never let it dampen her spirits, she persisted to get back on her crocheted bike seat and carry on building her confidence.

Just last year Liz encountered a tragic accident being knocked over by a car whilst crossing the road. The accident left her with severe injuries including a broken hip. She was unable to walk for a few months and was told she will need a hip replacement in later life. Having met such a warm, bubbly and lovable person I couldn’t believe how her life had changed so dramatically yet she wouldn’t let it stop her from being active. Liz had to retire from her career as a Yoga Instructor, which she had a great passion for. She said to me “I wouldn’t say it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me, but it’s opened my eyes to trying new things and making the most of life whilst I can”. I felt amazed that not only had she dealt with the trauma physically and emotionally, she came out of it with a different outlook on life. She was learning the things she had always wanted to do and did not let her injuries be a reason to not do something.

Liz’s doctor advised her not to run in fear of making her injuries worse, instead she is happy to walk during the LGC beginner running session. She is so friendly and welcoming with newcomers and has helped to lead the group. She will be undergoing the walk leaders training to take on the group as a qualified leader. On top of this, Liz is constantly helping to promote our LGC sessions through sharing our posts on social media and telling the people she meets about what we have to offer. I have asked Liz to be one of the first 3 women in Leeds to become a LGC Ambassador as a thank you for her support. She is a fantastic role model for people who don’t believe they can try something new. LGC sessions have helped Liz’s technique when hiking and building her confidence with other activities. At the end of our cycle ride she thanked me and said “I never thought I could do this and it’s down to you that I have”. It seems LGC has inspired her to try new things but really it’s Liz who’s the true inspiration #ThisGirlCan.

Interesting fact about Liz:

I love baking bread and trying new bread recipes I bake a mean foccacio

Applications Closed