Today is International Women’s Day, an annual event to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.  This year’s theme is ‘choose to challenge’.
To mark this year’s event, we are sharing the story of Rebecca, one of our participants on the Community Connections South project, which is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund:

Rebecca was referred to the Community Connections South project by a Money Matters advisor last year.  As a single mother of a young son who was soon to start school at the time of the referral, meaning Rebecca would be moved onto Universal Credit, which she was concerned would impact finances negatively.
Rebecca met with her Employment Advisor, Jo, and told her that she had not worked since the birth of her son but hoped to return to education, and ideally would find flexible work and education opportunities. With the help of Jo, Rebecca, was able to enrol on a Business Management course with the Open University. 

Following her enrolment, Rebecca said: “I am really enjoying my course and the whole learning experience!  I have joined the online Open University Student Forum Café and it is a very supportive learning environment.  I’m also doing well with my tutor marked assignments, achieving over 90% on each assignment!”

As well as supporting Rebecca with her enrolment to the Open University, Jo also helped improve her CV and cover letters to job applications so that she was able to effectively look for employment opportunities that she could fit in around both her son and her own education.  After a great deal of job searching, Rebecca was finally able to get a job with a mobile cleaning company that offered flexible hours.

On the difference the project has made to her life, Rebecca said: “It is lovely to be earning money myself and to not be completely dependent on benefits.  I am enjoying getting out and working with other people – it has made me feel more confident and capable.  Jo was always available to give advice and reassurance whenever a problem arose, and helped me move to the next step.”
Rebecca chose to challenge herself to find new employment as well as return to education.  We are proud to share this brilliant example of empowerment of women as part of International Women’s Day.

Community Connections South is funded by The European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.