Fiona Small, CEO of Young Mums Support Network, was invited to deliver an inspirational keynote speech at the Boosting BAME Business at NatWest’s event to celebrate Black History Month.
The packed auditorium heard how Fiona started her journey with an idea to help single mums to navigate the systems that they would encounter in parenthood. One of the key phrases Fiona said was that she turned her ‘pain to purpose’. This was borne out of her own experience as a single mum and the challenges she faced and overcame. She effectively detailed her own story how she fought to overcome isolation, pain, financial challenges with steely determination to be an excellent mother to her children. Alongside doing all of this, she also realised there were other single mums who were in the same situation and wanted to help where local provision didn’t quite meet their needs.
Over the past seven years, Fiona has worked to raise awareness and has taken practical steps to change the lives of young mothers through providing training and education programmes and facilitating a strong support network.
Now as an in-demand speaker, facilitator and broadcast commentator on the issues single mothers face, all while trying to provide for her own family, Fiona shared how her ‘purpose has now become a paycheck’. She no longer does things continuously for free. She realised that in order to help even more people, her work had to be managed and formalised. Fiona enlightened the audience on the many hats she has had, and continues, to wear: first and foremost being a mother to her children, but also to be an advocate, advisor and social entrepreneur and what it takes to continue running a service-user focused organisation.
As Fiona prepared to close her lively and engaging speech to event attendees, she turned their attention to the screen to watch the latest campaign that the Young Single Mums Network is running. This project is to help and change the lives of young mums within the city of London. ‘Make the House a Home’ is a campaign to raise £20,664 to develop a hub to help even more mums by creating a gardening club and run classes in cooking. The Hub will also enable service-users in South London to have a safe space to connect and gain life skills. Although significant progress has been made to reach the £20,664 target, a lot more financial support is needed to hit the goal within the next 29 days. Fiona encouraged all the attendees to donate to the campaign recapping the vision for the Hub and the impact it will be making. To donate to the cause go to https://www.spacehive.com/make-the-house-a-home