A CORNISH educational project supporting local young mums has been recognised nationally with an inspirational award.

‘Young Mums Will Achieve’ (YMWA) won the Early Years category at the 2018 Children and Young People Now Awards in London.

The prestigious awards, which are seen as an industry gold standard, selected YMWA to win from over 640 nurseries, children centres, childminders and local authorities across the UK.

Run as a partnership between Cornwall Council, The Cornwall College Group and Fit N Fun Kids, YMWA is a pioneering initiative for young and expecting mums, aged between 14-24 years old.

The programme supports young mothers to study and gain qualifications while receiving additional support from their crèche team, who provide free childcare, and additional parenting support, advice and guidance.

Former participants have used the programme as a springboard to progress into a wide range of vocational areas, with some going on to higher education and others into apprenticeships as well as paid employment.

The ongoing regional success of the programme means that there are now YMWA groups active across the county.

CEO of Fit N Fun Kids, Rachel Jones, said: “We are delighted to be recognised at national level for the impact our work has within the Young Mums Will Achieve initiative. The awards evening itself is a culmination of a year-round process to find the best work across the country and a celebration of outstanding practice for children and young people.

“To win the Early Years Award provides recognition and pride for all those involved who strive to give children and young people the best start in life. It is fantastic to be an award winner at an event that showcases learning, innovation and effective practice for us all to draw upon and help ensure the country’s children and young people’s services are highlighted and celebrated as crucial to the fabric of our society.” Rachel continued.

In addition to their success in Children and Young People Now Awards, YMWA was also nominated in both the Inclusive Practice and the Working with Parents categories in this year’s Nursery World Awards. Partner organisation Fit N Fun Kids also gained a nomination in the Nursery Group of the Year category in the same awards.

Councillor Sally Hawken, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Children and Wellbeing said: “It is excellent news to hear that this initiative is receiving the recognition it deserves.  It is so important that we can remove barriers to learning, so that everyone has a chance to access education and work-related opportunities. Raising aspiration and achievement is one of the council’s priorities so that our communities gain the skills and qualifications that will lead to better prospects in the future.”

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