Professor Carol Fuller and Dr. Maria Kambouri-Danos‘s ‘Marvellous Mums’ project won the University’s 2020 Research Engagement and Impact Awards. With 28 submissions from across the University this year, only 12 projects got shortlisted, and from these, four winners were chosen. According to the Awards webpage, the Awards aim to “recognise and reward those who undertake high-quality engagement and impact activities, and/or have contributed to capacity building in this area”.
The Marvellous Mums programme sets out to empower local women, from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, with greater levels of confidence and self-esteem so that they, in turn, can empower their own children with confidence and self-esteem. Our programme is driven by those we seek to support. By developing relationships within the community to support the development of the tools we use, we have been able to develop relationships of trust, de-mystifying the UoR and placing the UoR at the heart of multi-agency programmes directed at the aspirations of under-represented groups. The programme works in partnership within the local community with organisations, such as the Whitely Community Development Association, Home Start, Reading Borough Council Social Work, Alana House and with the mums themselves
There are also many, many examples of individual successes, including three women now in work, three in college, one withdrawing from medication for depression, three having left bad marriages and several women having signed up to weight loss regimes – as examples, and attributed by the mums themselves to the Marvellous Mums programme. Interest in our programme has extended to China, with a colleague in Xi’an awaiting a funding bid which aims to develop Marvellous Mums in a rural community, in her province.