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Parents are thriving thanks to a Council programme that helps them into training, education and work

Posted on 19 Jun 2024
Mariam Salaudeen Step Into 2024

Mum Mariam Salaudeen is a talented seamstress and is currently working on her own website.



A North Ayrshire Council programme that helps boost parents’ confidence and enhance their job opportunities will run again in summer.

The Step Into Health & Wellbeing initiative was successful last year and is being repeated to help change the lives of more parents across North Ayrshire.

Participants study for an SQA in Health and Wellbeing at Ayrshire College and receive additional support and training through Council partners, with the aim of getting on the path to training, education or well-paid jobs.

The scheme is being run through the Council’s employability service’s Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire programme and is funded by the Information and Culture team.

Two mums who completed the course last year say they would highly recommend it to other parents who want to start their own employability journey.

Stephanie Kelly is currently studying Access to HNC Business, Admin and Accounts, and wants to progress to an HNC in Accountancy with a view to working in accountancy.

She said: “I really enjoyed the summer programme. It gave me confidence and boosted my self-esteem. I made new friends it gave me time for myself to be me … and not just a mum. 

“I gained certificates, which gave me a sense of achievement. I could talk to people and by doing so helped push me out of my comfort zone. It also gave me the confidence to go to a college open day and I enrolled myself into college.

“I am so glad I did it as I am enjoying the course and proving to myself that you are never too old to learn new things.

“I would recommend the programme to any parent. I have found myself and even my kids have seen the change in me. I am more confident and not afraid to try new things.”

As part of Step Into Health & Wellbeing, participants’ children can go into registered childcare, which helps remove another common barrier to them being able to attend programmes like this.

Stephanie advised other parents: “If you get the chance then take it. It is two days a week and the kids are looked after. I was a bit worried about my youngest going to out-of-school care, but he loved it.

“You get time to concentrate on yourself and it gave me a sense of achievement.”

Council partners who are involved in the initiative to offer additional training -including a First Aid Course and the Multiply community programme, which helps adults improve their numeracy skills – are Employability and Skills

We Work For Families, The Ayrshire Community Trust (TACT), Ayrshire College and KA Leisure. 

Mum Mariam Salaudeen is currently working on her own website to launch a business selling customised African clothes, handbags and laptop bags.

She said: “The Step Into programme helped me with my mental health and well-being as I felt I was piling up the worry and stress and frustration. 

“It helped me to reboot myself by walking more and taking time out to socialise with my friends. It has also help me focus and decide what I want to do workwise.

“I would say to other parents, if you get the opportunity to take part grab it with both hands. You will enjoy the course and you receive certificates, which have given me confidence in my abilities.”

The new courses for summer are:

  • Ayrshire College: Tuesdays from July 2 to August 6.
  • Steps Course: Wednesdays from July 3 to July 24 and
  • KA Leisure First Aid Course: Wednesday, July 31.

Louise Kirk, Head of Service for Economic Development, Growth and Regeneration, said: “This programme could genuinely be the start of something life-changing for parents across North Ayrshire.

“It could open up new opportunities for work, training and learning – and for making a better life for participants and their families.”

To find out more about joining Step Into Health & Wellbeing, phone 01294 608952 (option 2), email wwff@thelennoxpartnership.org or pop into the Parent Hub at Frank Sweeney Centre for Enterprise, 82-84 Glasgow Street, Ardrossan KA22 8EH

 The Council’s Employability Service delivers a range of support through its Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire programme.

Contracted partners delivering Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire include We Work for Families and CEIS Ayrshire, who all contribute to delivering a wide range of support to help individuals prepare and progress into employment.

To access any of the opportunities delivered by Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire please email employability@north-ayrshire.gov.uk

You can also find out how Your Next Move, Working North Ayrshire can help you with things like CVs, application forms, Modern Apprenticeships, paid work experience, interview techniques and secure employment at Help finding work (north-ayrshire.gov.uk)

Follow the team on Facebook at Working North Ayrshire.