Marvellous Mums has brought together researchers and community partners to support disadvantaged women from local communities to recognise their own skills and strengths. Armed with new confidence and aspirations, many have been able to take positive and significant steps to improve their own lives, and the lives of their families.
The 10-week collaborative programmes involve the mums, the researchers, and community partners, including Reading Borough Council’s social work team and Ufton Court Educational Trust. Activities include personal goal-setting and self-reflection sessions, as well as social family meet-ups to build a sense of belonging. Some activities take place at the University – de-mystifying it in the process – while others are held in community spaces.
Forty mums have completed the programme so far, and new partners continue to join the scheme, including Alana House – which supports female offenders and women with complex needs. Self-reported levels of confidence have risen in all the ‘graduates’, with many now in work or education, and others leaving bad relationships. And momentum continues to build with additional research projects developing and two Marvellous Mums recruited as paid researchers in a follow-up project between the University and Alana House.
Team: Carol Fuller and Maria Danos
In partnership with Whitley Community Development Association, Alana House, Parents and Carers Together (PACT).
Funded by University of Reading