Welsh young parents’ lives transformed with £8m from the Big Lottery Fund
Future Generations Commissioner Sophie Howe has celebrated the achievements of more than 1,300 young parents across Wales, who have transformed their lives after taking part in nine lottery funded projects including Action for Children’s Little Steps Big Steps, at an event sponsored by Siân Gwenllian AM on Wednesday 14th December at the Pierhead, Cardiff Bay.

The ‘Bright New Futures’ funding from the Big Lottery Fund was released in 2013 with an aim to equip young parents across Wales with greater confidence, life skills, and the knowledge they needed to tackle challenges and create a brighter future for them and their children.

Nine projects involving 15 charities offered a range of support and activities for young parents, from one to one support and counselling, to volunteering opportunities and family events. The results have been impressive: 1,100 of the young parents who took part said they felt less isolated and that they had made new friendships, while 900 said they had greater confidence and skills as a result of the project.

Stacey Greene (23) was supported by Action for Children’s Little Steps Big Steps project in Swansea since her child was taken into care, and benefited enormously from its one-to-one support sessions.   She said:  ‘It was great for me to be here today to support Little Steps Big Steps as they have helped me so much on my personal journey. I know how important these projects are and I wanted to help raise awareness of the huge difference these projects make to peoples’ lives.’

Sandra White, children’s services manager for Little Steps Big Steps, Swansea Young Families said: ‘It was great to have nine bright new futures lottery funded projects get together and learn the lessons of the work we’ve done. Also, the lottery funding has come to an end so we’re asking “What now?” and put together a document highlighting the fantastic outcomes all these projects have achieved which we hope will inform local and Welsh Government on their commissioning process going forward.

‘I hope Welsh Government will look at these achievements and make commissioning decisions that avoid short, sharp interventions. What the projects have realised really works for young parents is that you have to have a longer, more holistic intervention.’

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