Esther's charity 'If Chloe Can' expands across schools

An educational programme helping young girls reach for the stars based on the brainchild of Tatton MP Esther McVey is expanding to other parts of the country.

 The If Chloe Can charity (ICC) goes into schools and works with girls aged 12 to 14 to help them develop the vital skills teaches them vital skills of Confidence, Assertiveness and Resilience (CAR programme) as part of their PHSE and career studies.

It has been working with three secondary schools in Birmingham this year but the self-funding charity is hoping to expand and is already booked in Oxford for 2019/20. 

Ms McVey said: “When I created If Chloe Can, I thought even if one girl read it and it changed her life and led to her achieving her career goal then it would have all been worthwhile. Years later the charity is continuing to flourish and I am thrilled it is the basis for educational learning in such an engaging way. Studies have shown that seeing, hearing and meeting real life role models are a great way to inspire others to achieve their goals and that is why this foundation programme is so important. I am delighted it has been such a success and is moving to Oxford for the next academic year and I hope it will soon be happening in our local schools too.”

If Chloe Can started out in 2010 as a magazine for young girls featuring stories of successful women to inspire girls and went on to be made into a play by the National Youth Theatre. It has continued to go from strength to strength and now is a charity, which goes into schools to help career progression, planning and personal goal setting through the Gatsby Benchmarks – which are based on international evidence of best practice about what works in career development in schools.

The CAR programme is offered at no charge to participating state schools and the programme takes the format of three two hour sessions each one addressing one of the three aspects of CAR. In addition there is a half day workshop on a Saturday which will bring together all the students, guest speakers and other role models.

The first weekend conference, where all the girls are invited to come and work with other students from different schools, was a success. The conference was a culmination of a series of three in-school workshops which have taken place over the past two terms and focused on group activities, guest speaker talks to highlight success stories to the girls and the chance to look at career options.

Ms McVey said: “It was a fantastic day bringing together the hard work of the girls from the school workshops and allowing them to meet other students and work together. The aim of this programme is to provide a positive bridge across to schools’ careers programmes for girls and help them reach their potential. I am passionate about empowering young girls. I believe that if you work hard, play by the rules and believe in yourself, then no matter who you are, or where you come from, you can meet those goals and achieve you ambitions.”

For more information on the charity visit