Introducing Agnes

img_5980Some people believe in fate; I prefer to think that life is a massive tangle of random threads and we forge our own path by the decisions we make. All those swirling, whirling possibilities.

There were many and varied threads that led to the point where I am, right now, at this particular moment. I could go back to 2003 when we decided to try for another child. My desire to have a daughter surprised me; I adored my two little boys, mothering them was enough, why on earth would I want another baby? But I did. And, luckily, along she came, my beautiful, headstrong, kind, funny, loving girl.

I could go back to 2012 to the decision to move to this village, to this house.

I could go back to the September of that year and the decision to walk my children to their new school along a particular route where I met Helen. And I could go back to a few weeks later and the decision to accept Helen’s invitation to lunch where I met Charlotte.

Charlotte and I struck up a firm friendship straight away. She had an idea for a book for girls and when she discovered that I worked in publishing, she sent me the outline. As a mother of a pre-teen girl it struck a massive chord with me and so I put out a few feelers. No luck, but undaunted we continued talking about the idea over many months’ worth of dog walks and the idea grew and morphed into an idea for a website. Should we do it? Could we build it and write it ourselves? We decided we should and we could. And many, many months later we’ve done it.

We have worked on it as a labour of love, during any spare time we have; we’ve bored our spouses, our children, anyone who’ll listen to us; we’ve dreamed of chatting to Jane Garvey on Woman’s Hour; and we have encouraged and chivvied each other along.

We haven’t done it all on our own, though. We’ve worked with some wonderful people who have donated their time and expertise – a psychologist has written the pages on mental health, expert relatives and friends have checked the copy and advised us, several teenage girls (and mothers) have given us feedback, and we’ve even had material from a couple of blogging friends (thank you Lynda and Gillian).

And now, this morning, Agnes is ready for public viewing. We are smashing an imaginary bottle of champagne onto her hull and sending her out into the wild ocean of the world-wide web.

The whole point of our website is to help girls to navigate their teenage years. It’s full of relevant information, sound advice and inspiration. I wish I’d had something like it when I was growing up.

I won’t go into detail about it; I’ll let it speak for itself. Please click on this link and see what you think. If you have a teenage girl in your life or know someone who has, it would be fabulous if you could help us to spread the word. Thank you.

And now I’m going to lie down in a darkened room for a while and have a little rest. Who am I kidding?! I need to clean the house and catch up on all the stuff I’ve been ignoring. I need to get out into the garden! If you come here for the gardening, there will be more. Soon.

Have a splendid weekend. x

 

 

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46 thoughts on “Introducing Agnes

  1. Wow Sam, it looks amazing, well done you, a brilliant achievement, something to be really proud of. I can imagine girls absolutely loving reading through all the articles. I’m wishing you every success with it. Are you doing one for boys now..? CJ xx

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  2. Congratulations Sam, I am really happy you have launched Agnes. I have loved browsing the site, such a wonderful resource not just for girls but also their mums (to keep up with times). I just realise I forgot to reply to your email. Will do so this weekend. x

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  3. What a wonderful idea, and achievement! Congratulations to you and your friend, I cannot imagine how much work it has been, and no doubt will be, but you are doing a great thing and I am sure that it will be a very valuable resource for many people. Good on you for doing this, I wish you all the very best!!!

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  4. Thank you for this – on behalf of the girls that it will inform and the mothers and teachers who will encourage them as they become the next generation of feisty young women. I am winging it off to my sisters for their daughters and to my sister-in-law, a teacher.

    Congratulations on the achievement of this very fine project.

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    1. Thank you so much, Alice. We are so close to the project that it was extremely nerve-wracking pressing the ‘live’ button and it is heartwarming to be receiving such lovely comments. All along, we said to ourselves that if it helps just a few girls, gives them more confidence or points them in the right direction when they’re struggling, it will have been worth it. We just have to keep plugging away on getting it to its intended audience now and keep our fingers crossed.

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  5. Congratulations Sam. The teenage years can be so tricky, especially in this fast paced world of social media and the like. Just as your other readers have said, I could have really done with something like this when I was that age. All the best! Jane x

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  6. Well done to you and Charlotte – taking this project from initial thoughts to finished website is no mean feat and you should both be very proud of your achievement. The finished product looks so comprensive and well written and is bound to appeal to the generation it is aimed at and will in time become a well used resource that teenage girls (and boys too, I think) will turn to more and more. Talking about it on Woman’s Hour will not just be a pipe dream I think! ps can I suggest that you add Samaritans to your list of people to talk to in the Looking After Your Mind section as it is not just for those with suicidal thoughts and can be contacted by text and email as well as phone these days and is a 24 hour service

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    1. Thank you, Cathy. I will add Samaritans’ details to other pages – that’s a very good suggestion. We have been talking about it and working on it for so long that it feels rather strange that it’s now ‘out there’, but we, too, hope that it will become a trusted resource for as many people who find it useful.

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      1. I have added a link to the Under 18 page on Samaritans’ website and the phone number to Agnes’s main ‘Look after your mind’ page. Thanks again, Cathy. S

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  7. Congratulations to you and Charlotte, it looks as if so much work has gone into creating this useful website. I wish that sort of information had been available when I was that age! It looks so easy to read and has the right tone to give advice. I liked your choices of recipes and music I think I will joining the sing along ones as I do the house work! Sarah x

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  8. All your work paid off. It’s absolutely wonderful and so timely! This generation of girls is going to need all the help they can get. I cannot imagine all the time and thought that must have gone into this. You should feel very proud.

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  9. I love what I saw of Agnes & would like very much to subscribe for my almost 13-yr-old. Although we are in the US I am sure that there is more than enough to both enjoy and learn from. Can you please explain how to subscribe? I looked for Agnes to try and add to my Bloglovin feed (via email every am) but could not find Agnes listed when searching in the Bloglovin search area…yes I know, this mama is very low-tech! 🙂 Congratulations on starting such a fantastically meaningful undertaking!

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    1. Thanks very much for your kind comment. If you go to the website and click on the link to the Facebook page or Instagram feed and like/follow either of those, you’ll receive regular posts and updates. 🙂

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