Sunday, April 15, 2007

Aiming Higher project

Last Thursday, I attended a lunch and awards ceremony for the Aiming High project in Pollards Hill which was a project for young mums aged 16 - 19 years old and those expecting, not in education, employment, or training. The project has been funded for the last two years by the LSC and run by the Commonside Trust covering the wards of Pollards Hill, Longthornton and Figges Marsh in Merton.

Among the objectives of the project was to provide gave advice on money towards the cost of child-care and travel, a programme of personal support and guidance and an accredited Young Mums to Be Qualification as it also helped expectant mothers.

From the project, it has resulted in some young mums deciding to go on and do degrees, some have taken up training opportunities at college and others taken up employment opportunities. Many of the mothers have also acted as mentors for teenage girls who find themselves pregnant or have have just become young mums. At the awards ceremony attended by the Mayor of Merton Geraldine Stanford many were given certificates for their achievements.

The scheme has been a great success and tribute need to be given to Jenny Bismouth and Becky Night the two project co-coordinators. From this April, further funding has been received which will allow the scheme to be expanded to other areas in Mitcham

In an area which has an higher teenage pregnancy rate, this is an initiative that I welcome and assists teenage girls who find themselves pregnant or with a baby and gives them help and support.


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