Meet The Team

Fiona Small

Founder

Fiona Small, founder of the award-winning Young Mum’s Support Network and Director of Fiona Small Consultancy, is carving her own trail as a specialist in her field. A mother of two, she has strong views about providing practical support for mothers, and has established herself as experienced practitioner with a wealth of high-level corporate connections and a portfolio that has allowed her to become an expert and inspirational figure.

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.

Fiona Small

Founder

Laverne Thomas

Project Manager

Laverne is a young mother of two daughters. Having started working full time from the age of 15 for a well known banking branch, Laverne fell pregnant at 16 and put her life on hold to dedicate her time to her first daughter. From a young age, Laverne realised the potential in herself and knew that being a young mother didn't put an end to the possibilities of being able to live the life that she wanted. Having escaped a tough relationship, she began rediscovering herself and since then has graduated from university and has had various roles to discover her passion.

During this journey, Laverne has learned a lot about herself, her vision and discovering her purpose in life. She also began her mindfulness journey, studying mindfulness and meditation techniques and hopes to continue to learn more about the practise and becoming a mindfulness advocate. Now believed to be on the right path, Laverne is working on an online business and working towards her own vision which involves being an inspiration and positive influence for other single mothers.

Laverne Thomas

Project Manager

Georgia Ella

Company Secretary & Board Member

Georgia Ella is a young mother who had her son at the age of ninteen. Although she had no one else around with children, she had always believed she was born to be a parent. Therefore, Georgia took on the role as mum with a bit more ease.

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.

Georgia Ella

Company Secretary & Board Member

Jernine Russell

YMSN Consultant

Jernine is a published author of ‘The Naked Truth About Having a Baby’. She is a mother to three children. She loves to encourage, support and empower others, and this fuelled her desire to start She Reigns, an organisation that works to promote self-identity, empower, uplift and motivate women through self-development, affirmations and building self-esteem. She does this through delivering events, workshops, programmes and one to one work with women which involves coaching and mentoring.

She uses her own experiences as a woman, mother and professional and the challenges and obstacles she has overcome to inspire other women. She is an inspiring leader using motivational skills to develop and bring out the best in others.

She has worked within the Criminal Justice System for 17 years. Her roles have been varied and extensive, working within various capacities including Courts, Youth Offending Teams, Prisons and Probation Service. Her skill set is vast and diverse as she has worked with young people, their families and adults in various capacities providing intervention that is holistic, therapeutic and delivers outcomes to improve lives, builds safer communities and breaks the cycle of re-offending. Challenging, developing and equipping individuals with the skills to make life-changing decisions and implement change in their lives.

She is looking forward to contributing her skills and expertise as a Consultant for YSMN and to positively impact the lives of young women who access their services.

Her knowledge and expertise in working with women, particularly those within the Criminal Justice System, coupled with her passion and gifting in interacting with such a vulnerable and often misunderstood group of society, is invaluable.

Jernine Russell

YMSN Consultant

Manpreet Kaur

Finance and Fundraising Co-ordinator

Manpreet is a mother of one, and had her daughter at 32 years old.

Manpreet went to University to study Human Psychology but was unable to finish her degree, she then worked full time from there.

Manpreet started working in customer services, retail, events and eventually in banking, she was able to have multiple years of experience within banking and financial services.

Manpreet was brought up in a single parent household, and was driven at a young age, and always wanted to push harder and build on her career.

Manpreet had her daughter during the pandemic, and as she was self employed prior to this as a financial contractor she didn't have any maternity pay and relied on savings, she was still motivated to push her career and has always been business minded, and started a brunch business when her daughter was 2 months old.

Shortly after Manpreet was introduced to YMSN via a friend to a zoom call, where they spoke about 'Mumtrepreneurs' which Manpreet was passionate about and from there Manpreet connected with Fiona. Manpreet had shared her ideas about business and her work background and got on board with YMSN in November 2021.

Manpreet considers herself as a motivated individual and enthusiastic and is always looking to challenge herself to build on her skills and develop her professional career, Manpreet is looking forward to the business growth with YMSN.

Manpreet Kaur

Finance and Fundraising Co-ordinator

Tiffany Hesson

YMSN Consultant

My name is Tiffany. I’m a mum to a handsome 4 year old.

I have a passion for working with and support parent/ careers who have children with additional needs.

This is close to my heart as my son has additional needs, I know first hand some of the challenges that come along with supporting / caring for a child who needs more from you.

My aim is to support, education and raise awareness. I’m always here for practical guidance such as finances! Because Life is expensive lol

Tiffany Hesson

YMSN Consultant