“I AM very proud to have got to know you all, it’s been a pleasure to work with you and we will always be there for you.”
The words of CatZero’s progressions officer Gail Howson as she praised our most recent programme participants, who have successfully completed their Lone Parents course in Grimsby.
The CatZero Lone Parent Programme is funded through the ESF Community Grants 5, co-financed by the ESFA (Education Skills Funding Agency) which is managed by Humber Learning Consortium to support learning and training opportunities to enable disadvantaged people move closer to the labour market.
The group, which enjoyed a celebration event at Grimsby’s Business and Digital Hub behind Freeman Street market, were also joined by CatZero’s Director of Operations Dave Bertholini, programme manager Pete Tighe and business partner Graham Birkenhead.
Graham’s firm Profect Training provides the charity’s official training. On this course the participants successfully completed 38 accredited qualifications with one mum already embarking on an Open University degree and others now taking up adult learning.
Graham has been working with CatZero for more than four years now and is happy to be involved.
“I have seen the charity evolve from working with young people to the vast number and ages of people it now supports. For me, personally, it is about knowing that we are helping people at a time when they most need it,” said Graham.
‘Being a parent is as hard a job as it gets’
Addressing the successful participants, he added: “There is a variety of ages here, but you all have one thing in common and that is you are all parents. When you leave here, you go back to that world and being a parent is as hard a job as it gets, so I applaud you all.”
Dad of two John Bennett was the sole male on the course: “They have all been brilliant,” he said of his fellow participants.
The former HGV driver gave up work to look after his sons, who are now well into their teenage years: “This is my time now they are getting older. I am now able to have my own life again and all the team here at CatZero really care about supporting me,” said John.
His younger son, Johnny, took part in the Grimsby summer programme and its sail from Brixham back up to the Humber. The whole family are now engaged with Full Families also. Since his individual course, Johnny has his life back on track, is in his GCSE year and has been accepted for a place on the Grimsby Institute’s Uniformed Services course to start in September.
Other team members reflected on the course saying they had “loved every minute of it”. And that it had made them feel themselves again.