Dream Girls Club to take centre stage at Emmanuel Church
The Emmanuel Methodist Church will this evening stage a concert in support of the Dream Girls Club, whose members will perform. The show will run from 7pm to 9pm at the Southampton church.
Founded in 2008, the Dream Girls Club was founded by Margaret Giloth to provide a supportive environment for girls aged 9 to 17.
Keith Smith, who is on the Spiritual Interest Committee at Emmanuel Methodist Church and organiser of this evening’s event, said the idea of a benefit concert came from a desire to thank the community.
“Emmanuel Church had damage to the roof and needed repair a few years ago,” Mr Smith said. “The public helped us quite a lot to raise funds to repair the roof, so this is one of our ways of giving back.”
Mr Smith, knowing Ms Giloth and being impressed with the programme over the years, felt it was fitting that the Dream Girls Club should be the beneficiary of the concert.
Ms Giloth, president of the charity Phenomenal People and Dream Girls Club, said the programme for young women has been her “gift and purpose in action”. She aims to “encourage families to wrap their arms around these children – we get them but once and it goes by so fast.”
Each year, the club has an area of focus for the girls. In 2022-23 it was the Go Green Initiative, where the objective was “learning about our responsibility to protect the Earth, environment, physical health, mental and spiritual wellbeing”, Ms Giloth said.
“Our initiative for 2024 is a skill and asset development,” she added. “Giving these children more exposure to various skill sets that can maybe be ignited by professionals coming and sharing their life story, and inspiring the girls to say, ‘I might desire to pursue that one day’.”
The concert at Emmanuel gives the girls a platform to participate and showcase the skill set they have been learning this year.
Ms Giloth said: “One of the key things is the ability to speak. Of course, the spoken word is huge now and a great performing arts genre, and it is a skill set we had chosen to focus on.
“So, the concert is the perfect platform to showcase the girls, and since we knew about this, we have been practising for them to do a spoken word medley. We had them pick their topic from poetry books at the library.”
Hoping for a strong family turnout and community support, the young ladies have been eagerly, and some of them nervously, preparing for this evening’s event.
“We had a practice at the church last week, and they did well!” Ms Giloth said. “It was important for them to see the space and know that there will be many people out there, and they are there for them. This is how we build up self-esteem and confidence.
“The foundational element of this spoken word initiative is social competency building and personal identification; you are someone who has a voice.”
Touching on her future hopes for Phenomenal People and the Dream Girls Club, Ms Giloth said: “One thing that is very big on my heart right now is succession planning.
“I have done this with great glee for 16 years and would go on for another 16 if I could. I recognise it’s time to consider seriously seeking other input and support.
“I want to put out there that anyone interested in exploring the idea of being involved in the Phenomenal People/Dreams Girl Club should come out and reach out.”
Looking forward to this evening, she added: “I would welcome the community to come out and support us. It is a great honour that the Emmanuel Methodist Church chose us as their charity of choice to support.”