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Queen honours Cornish young mums project
Cornwall’s WILD Young Parents Project has been honoured with a prestigious Queen’s Award - the equivalent of an MBE - for its outstanding contribution to the community and its benefit to others.
As a result of its achievements WILD will receive a certificate signed by the Queen and an exclusive commemorative crystal. It will be presented by Her Majesty’s representative in Cornwall, the Lord Lieutenant, Lady Mary Holborow, during a special ceremony at the Redruth Children’s Centre in July.
Two of the project workers, accompanied by two of the young parents who benefit from the project, will also attend the Buckingham Palace Garden Party in July.
WILD started as a young parents’ group in Truro in 1992. The project now has 11 groups located across the length of the county from Penzance to Torpoint.
Supported by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) through ESF Convergence investment, it aims to provide young parents and their children with opportunities to develop their skills, improve their self-esteem, make positive and healthy choices, protect themselves, participate as equal members of their communities and achieve their potential.
The groups meet once a week, usually at children’s centres, and caters for the needs of mums under the age of 23. 95% of the project’s clients gain some form of qualification during their time with the group.
WILD works in partnership with Cornwall College, Cornwall Learning Partnership, Cornwall Council and Cornwall Youth Work Partnership to deliver those qualifications to clients.
Project workers also train the mums to go into schools to talk to pupils about the realities of motherhood and encourage them to peer mentor vulnerable women on a voluntary basis.
WILD was selected from 406 groups nominated by members of the public who have been helped personally or witnessed the benefits of a group’s work in their community.
“We’re all so excited!” said WILD spokesperson, Eleanor Beard. “It’s a great honour to be recognised in this way for the work we do.”
Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Convergence Partnership Office for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “I wish to congratulate all those who have worked with and supported the WILD programme over many years. In all walks of life and in different cycles of our lives, there are barriers to entering the world of work. WILD has helped remove many of these for our young people.”
Mark Williams, Skills Development Director - ESF - for the LSC South West, said: “This award is richly deserved. WILD’s approach encompasses all the drive and inspiration of Cornwall's communities in tackling disadvantage and the LSC is committed to supporting them in their work. The project is an excellent example of European money being used to the very best advantage and I congratulate everyone involved.”
For further information:
Sue Bradbury PR
In 2007-2013, the European Social Fund (ESF) will invest £2 billion in England and Gibraltar, which will be matched to £2 billion of national funding. The new European Social Fund programme will support two key priorities:
1. Extending employment opportunities to people who are unemployed or at a disadvantaged in the labour market, including disabled people, lone parents, older workers, ethnic minorities, low skilled people, and young people not in education, employment or training.
2. Developing a skilled and adaptable workforce, with a particular focus on employees who lack basic skills and good qualifications.
The new projects are the first to start under the 2007-2013 England and Gibraltar ESF programme, following the launch of tendering rounds in autumn 2007. The tendering rounds were organised bythe Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the Learning and Skills Council and other ESF Co-financing Organisations.
Learning and Skills Council:
The LSC exists to make England better skilled and more competitive. We are responsible for ensuring the availability of high quality education and training for everyone. We have a single goal: to improve the skills of England’s young people and adults to world class standards. Our vision is that young people and adults in England have knowledge and skills matching the best in the world and are part of a truly competitive workforce. We work nationally, regionally and locally to deliver this ambition on behalf of learners and employers. For more information visit: www.lsc.gov.uk/southwest