On 28 May 2019, inspiring women who have successfully completed the Marvellous Mums programme and the Marvellous Me programme were celebrated by being awarding the Certificates of Completion. These two programmes were created by Professor Carol Fuller and Dr. Maria Kambouri-Danos in partnership with the University of Reading (who also provide funding), the local community and international companies. Specifically, while the former programme was set up in partnership with Whitley Community Development Association and Sure Start, and the latter was set up in collaboration with the Reading Job Centre and the support from Alok Sharma (Member of Parliament for Reading West).

The overall goal of the programmes is to promote greater self-confidence of women from the local community by providing them workshops, such as job interview techniques and goal setting strategies. These activities have been developed through consultation with our local partners, the mums themselves and are firmly underpinned by Professor Carol Fuller’s and Dr. Maria Kambouri-Danos research.

Professor Carol Fuller opened the certificate presentations by saying that: “I am delighted we have funding from the University of Reading to run this programme and that we work with some amazing local organisations.” She continued:

We are so happy to be empowering women to define their own paths in life. For me the work we do here is one of the biggest joys of my job and I’m lucky to have met you. I’m inspired by your stories and your drive on a daily basis, and feel so invested in your development. We are a community that support each other long beyond the end of the course and I’m always here for you all! We also hope that any children here today will see what you’ve accomplished and be inspired as much as we have been.”

Professor Robert Van de Noort (the Vice Chancellor of the University) also attended the event, and said that “University is for everyone and should be accessible by everyone. We are determined to make the University of Reading a University for Reading as well.”

Dr. Maria Kambouri-Danos proceeded to call each member up to collect their certificates, in some cases the children present took the certificates for themselves which resulted in many giggles.

The event ended with lunch and opportunities for the participants to talk to the Vice Chancellor.

We’d just like to say congratulations once again to these Marvellous Mums. We can’t wait to see what you do next!