The main aim of YMSN is to support low-income families, in particular lone parents, and to help them cope with the pressure of trying to live on a tight budget.
Fiona's connection ranges from NHS England, Barclays Capital, Natwest Bank, and Housing Associations such as L&Q, Optivo and Metropolitan (who are part of the G15 – a consortium that has recently used YMSN’s work as a case study). Under Fiona's direction, YMSN gives hands-on advice to families and runs numerous courses to help mums become more independent, confident and proud of themselves. Fiona is passionate about equipping mothers by providing work experience opportunities with corporate employers that many low-income mothers cannot usually access. YMSN partners with both local authorities and private entities to give mums the best possible range of opportunities.
Granted a ‘Mother of Magnificence’ award in 2018, Fiona has gone through single motherhood and understands first-hand the stigma and isolation which come with society's stereotypes. She is determined to portray a true reflection of why mums who claim state benefits struggle to find suitable employment, acting as a voice for the voiceless and bringing a new, fresh approach to mobilising communities, inspiring women and creating opportunities for those who are most in need.
From 2015-2017, Tom was Chair of the Business Development Board of School of Hard Knocks a charity helping the unemployed back into work and working with pupils in danger of exclusion from school, building their self-confidence and aspirations through sport. In 2017, Tom joined YMSN.
Fiona and Kit met because their sons were in the same class and had struck up a friendship. At that time, Kit had recently started running playgroups for 'Social Stars', after-school creative play events for children with special needs and/or who need to develop their social skills. After years of struggling to get the measure of life in the special-needs lane, Kit
finally felt able to put what she'd learned to account with other families, and was really enjoying meeting and connecting with other unusual young children. Fiona's interest in this, plus in Kit's writing and communication skills, ended up with Kit joining YMSN as a volunteer.
Kit is passionate about helping struggling families. Having been there herself, she learned from experience just how much judgement and how little support there is out there, and believes no one should go through that alone. She considers herself fortunate to have had the chance to be taught methods of understanding and relating to children with special needs, and is eager to find ways to help other parents reach a point where they feel confident in themselves and close to their children.
Not long after having her son, Georgia found herself having to move out of the family home and into temporary housing as a single mother, because at the same time, she split from her four-year relationship with her son’s father. The separation between them was mutual, which allowed co-parenting to thrive and gave Georgia the free time to contemplate and reflect on her life.
Due to not being able to work and afford childcare at the same time, Georgia had to figure out a way to provide for her family while being at home. That’s when she came across the foreign exchange market and started to learn all she could, and at the same time found out she had a passion for analysing data.
Although progress was slow, as motherhood took up most of her time, she had faith in herself and a mentor who kept her going.
Georgia was in temporary housing for two years, which is where she met Fiona Small, the founder of Young Mums Support Network. She introduced herself to Fiona and explained what she had been learning for the past year; Fiona saw that Georgia had a driven spirit and maintained contact with her. Georgia then voluntarily assisted Fiona with YMSN as and where she could, motivated by a strong passion for every young mother to feel her best.
Georgia is now stable, living in permanent housing and working part-time, while also still studying many different subjects to continue bettering herself. In January 2018, Georgia joined YMSN as a board member, and is looking forward to being more involved in the business’s growth into the future.
Sarah has had a varied career: for the past 3 years she has been running a textile design business, which has been featured in several national publications. Prior to this she spent 8 years working at the Prison Reform Trust where her most recent role was Research and Communications Officer. It was whilst researching a report on women offenders and employment that she first met Fiona Small, YMSN’s CEO.
Creative Design Coordinator