A Cornish educational project supporting young mums is celebrating its third nomination for a national award this year.
Young Mums Will Achieve (YMWA) has been shortlisted for both the Children & Young People Now Awards and the Nursery World Awards.
Run as a partnership between Cornwall Council, The Cornwall College Group and Fit N Fun Kids, is a pioneering initiative for young and expecting mums, aged between 14-24 years old.
CEO of Fit N Fun Kids, Rachel Jones, said she was “delighted to see the Young Mums Will Achieve shortlisted for another national award”.
“Its primary objective is to support young mums back into mainstream education or employment, while promoting the development of positive parenting and life skills,” she explained.
“Recognition at such a high level is certainly something to be proud of.”
Fit N Fun Kids has been part of the project since its conception nine years ago.
“We have enjoyed each and every cohort that we have worked with and seen to progress on to greater things,” Rachel continued.
“Well done to all involved!”
Councillor Sally Hawken, Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Children & Wellbeing says: “It is so important that we can remove barriers to learning, so that everyone has an opportunity to access education and work-related opportunities. This in turn will help our communities gain skills and qualifications that will lead to more employment opportunities in the future. It is excellent news to hear that this initiative is receiving the recognition it deserves.”
For the Children & Young People Now Awards, which is seen as an industry gold standard, YMWA has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Early Years Award category, which is given to the initiative that has done the most to improve the life chances of babies and young children, especially among disadvantaged or hard-to-reach communities.
Additionally, in this year’s Nursery World Awards, YMWA is nominated in two categories.
Firstly, the Working with Parents Award, which is given to the initiative that best supports parents, enhancing their understanding of their children’s learning and development, or improving children’s outcomes through involvement and co-operation with families.
The second nomination is for the Inclusive Practice Award, where the judges are looking for projects that promote equality of opportunity and the best outcomes for all children, regardless of ethnic origin, special needs, background or disadvantage.
Partner organisation Fit N Fun Kids has also gained a nomination in the Nursery Group of the Year category for the Nursery World Awards.
The YMWA programme supports young mothers to study and gain qualifications while receiving additional support from their crèche team, who provide free childcare, and additional parenting support, advice and guidance.
Former participants have used the programme as a springboard to progress into a wide range of vocational areas, with some going on to higher education and others into apprenticeships as well as paid employment.
The ongoing regional success of the programme means that there are now YMWA groups active across the county.
One young mum who benefitted greatly from her involvement in the YMWA project, said: “I absolutely loved YMWA, It helped me in so many ways, I am so chuffed to have had the opportunity and I’d definitely recommend it to others. The tutors helped me with all sorts of things and I will forever be grateful to them. I hope other girls have the experience I have, I doubt I would be where I am without YMWA.”
For more information on Young Mums Will Achieve, or to make a referral, please email firstname.lastname@example.org