Proud kids made colourful banners to celebrate their mums' achievements in completing six months on Oxfam Cymru's unique Access to Work programme. at a unique awards ceremony in Cardiff's Chapter Arts Centre.
The women - all single parents from BME communities in Newport and Cardiff - had completed work placements, taken ESOL classes, passed retail skills exams and achieved internships. Two went straight into paid employment.
Guests from Job Centre Plus and other partner organisations clapped as head of Oxfam Cymru Julian Rosser presented certificates. But the loudest cheers came from the boys and girls whose banners and cards made their feelings clear.
Access 'graduate' Saima Abbas, 37, who is now a volunteer receptionist at Oxfam Cymru and plans to start her own business, said: "Access has transformed my life and opened up new horizons for me. I have made lifelong friends too!"
Project leader Antonina Mendola said:
"These women all want to work, but face many barriers including language, low self confidence and the scarcity of 'child-friendly' jobs. Our project, part of Oxfam's UK Poverty Programme, aimed to prepare BME lone mums for the labour market. Our 24 participants have worked hard with commitment and enthusiasm . and their achievements speak for themselves."
Now, Oxfam Cymru is building on success by launching Access to Work and Enterprise, targeted at single mothers from all communities in Cardiff.
To find out more about this project, please contact AMendola@oxfam.org.uk.
For information on Oxfam'sUK Poverty programme, visit: . http://www.oxfam.org.uk/what-we-do/countries-we-work-in/uk