Co-designing the EmBody to EmPower Resources

Co-designing the EmBody to EmPower Resources

By: Eleanor Embody to Empower project participant
Published on:
  • Advocacy
  • Health

In this blog, project participant, Eleanor talks about the process of co-designing the EmBody to EmPower resources, the key aims of the project, and her hopes for how the resources can be used by young women accessing healthcare in Scotland.

The Young Women’s Movement’s Status of Young Women in Scotland 22-23 report found that young women aged 16–30 in Scotland had difficulty accessing the healthcare they needed, and that they often felt dismissed. [The Status of Young Women in Scotland 2022-2023: Experiences of Accessing Healthcare, p.3]. When I read this statistic, I was upset but not surprised as I reflected on my own experience of accessing healthcare. This was why, when The Young Women’s Movement were looking for volunteers to create a resource to help other young women navigate their healthcare journeys, I jumped at the chance. I wanted to help make a change.  

The key aims of the project were to provide a resource which would help young women understand how to access the healthcare they needed, but also how to advocate for themselves when things don’t feel right. We wanted the resource to be an easily accessible and helpful toolkit for preparing for appointments. As a group, we decided to create a sticker and a printed resource which links to an online page. We thought that the sticker would be an eye-catching way to attract attention to the resource, but also a discrete way to be able to access the information.  

The group decided on the name EmBody to EmPower as it summarised our key goals for the project: that young women feel empowered to advocate for their body and their healthcare and to know that they always have a choice. Now, more than ever, it is so important to help young women access health care. From my own experience, I know how all-consuming health conditions can become and how disheartening it is to try to navigate the system when you aren’t getting the help you need. Being a part of this project inspired me to feel more empowered and to trust my body, as no one knows your body better than you.  

As a group, we met four times over Zoom and it was a wonderful experience to get to connect with other young people from across Scotland. This was the first time I had been involved with a project with The Young Women’s Movement, and they made the sessions feel like a really safe space to work together and share our experiences. It was a privilege to get to work together on this project as I really felt like we were doing something which was making a difference. Every stage of the development of the resource felt collaborative, and I loved seeing how the designer Zoe Paterson translated our ideas into illustrations.  

As part of the development of this resource, the group met with the founding members of The North Highland Women’s Wellbeing Hub. It was inspiring to meet this group of women who have set up support groups for women in the Highlands and advocate for better access to women’s health services. 

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