Wednesday 8th February, 2012

Change direction at the third Progressions Fair

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‘I want to do something with my life, be independent and be a role model for my son,’ said Sara, mother of a seven-month-old boy. Having left school with few qualifications, Sara is now completing an Adult Literacy Level 2 course at Romsey Mill and looking for a new direction as her baby grows up.

Romsey Mill’s annual Progressions Fair, held on February 8th, gave Sara the perfect opportunity to talk to employers, course-providers and childcare experts. ‘I’ve looked on the web,’ she said, ‘but it’s so much easier to ask questions and get answers when you talk to someone face-to-face.’

This was the third Progressions Fair run by Romsey Mill’s Young Parents Programme. The aim of the fair is to encourage young parents to think about their future and have support in exploring potential opportunities. A range of organisations attended who were able to offer information on work, education, training and volunteering opportunities including Cambridge Regional College, the Volunteer Centre, and Romsey Mill’s corporate partners Cambridge University Press.

In addition, organisations that support young parents into education and work had stands, including the Childcare Information Service, Job Centre Plus and the Youth Support Service.

The Progressions Fair is part of Romsey Mill’s mission to enable young people to realise their goals in education and work. The afternoon buzzed with conversation and interest as young parents talked with representatives at the stands. Heidi Mulvey and Sarah Grieves, from Cambridge University Press, were impressed by the motivation and interest shown by young people asking about qualities employers look for, CV writing and work opportunities.

Young mum Hannah left the Fair with a volunteering opportunity lined up to, which she hopes will give her valuable working experience as she moves on to college.

‘It was great,’ she said. ‘I met lots of people who could tell me what I needed to know and I could bring my baby along too.’

As a follow up to this event, the Progressions Worker is encouraging a group of young parents to attend the upcoming open day at Cambridge Regional College and will take a further group to visit Cambridge Women's Resources Centre.

Romsey Mill’s Young Parents Programme is a leading provider of services for young mothers and fathers. Romsey Mill’ programmes have a strong emphasis on supporting young people to re-engage with education and training, and to move into work.