Success Stories

Since our inception in 2005 Women Making a Difference have trained over 700 women across Wales, empowering them with the skills, ability and confidence to succeed.

We believe it is important to share some of the success stories to encourage other women to achieve their potential. On these pages you will find a series of real women's stories on how they overcame their barriers and achieved the goals that they set for themselves.

All of these women have taken part in the Women Making a Difference training programme.

Case Studies

Case Studies of our ‘Women Making A Difference ‘

These stories come from 30 women living in South Wales. Click HERE to read.


Sarah Stephens

Looking for a way to kick start her career after life as a stay at home single mum, Sarah, originally from Chepstow, joined Women Making a Difference. In 2011 Sarah moved to Cardiff to be with her partner, while pregnant with their son. Following the breakdown of her relationship she found herself alone with a toddler to care for. With no local family support Sarah was not able to work. To keep her brain active and improve her future job prospects she looked for part time courses. Sarah had a long held interest in women’s issues and wanted to challenge the barriers to progression that females often encounter. It was while at at an International Women’s Day event Sarah was drawn to the Women Making a Difference stand. The name resonated with her as neatly encapsulated what she wanted to do with her life. She found about “Women for a Change”, it sounded like the perfect course for her. The free childcare provided made it possible for Sarah to enrol.

Nampo Mzana

Nampo from South Africa has always been a strong believer in promoting independence; Women Making a Difference has helped her to become more active in her new community in Cardiff.

Nampo came to the UK in 2003 when she was 17 years old. She moved around a lot with her family so it took her a while to acclimatise to life here. Most recently she moved to Cardiff and felt that this could be her permanent home. She wanted to put down roots but did not know anyone and initially felt very isolated and alone. Nampo also unfortunately experienced racial abuse. Normally outgoing, she found herself getting increasingly withdrawn but as a determined character she resolved that she did not want to live her life in fear and forced herself to seek out new opportunities. Through her work with the elderly and adults with learning disabilities she had seen first-hand how giving people the right support and opportunities can promote greater independence and a better quality of life. Looking to spread this message further and wanting to find a way for herself get settled in a new community she decided to volunteer with several charities. One of these told her about courses with Women Making a Difference.

Katy Stephenson

Katy had an erratic education, being home-schooled until the age of 7, then having moved to different areas of the UK five times in 7 years.  Her family did settle in South Wales when she was 14 years old, but by this point her education had suffered.

After leaving school Katy undertook at Polytechnic diploma in Secretarial Studies with Welsh, sticking to what she believed she was good at.  Having enjoyed learning Welsh she began working as a Welsh speaking secretary.  She moved on to a role at a TV production company, stating that it was much less glamorous than it sounds and was made redundant after 6 years. 

After redundancy Katy began working for ITec, an independent training company but was frustrated and wanted to progress from administration work.  The opportunity arose for her to get involved in the training, and she relished it – becoming an NVQ Assessor and working with young people, many of whom she identified with – as underachievers at school.  “I knew what it was like to not reach your potential in school and it was great to work with similar young people.”

Ishah Speers

Women Making a Difference helped Ishah to take a stand against Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery.

Ishah was searching the internet to find out what was happening in the women’s sector in Cardiff before moving from London when she first heard about Women Making a Difference. The courses on offer appealed to Ishah as she could combine them with her caring responsibilities and they offered the chance to meet likeminded women who also wanted to learn more about the opportunities available to make a difference to their communities.

After spending her childhood in Madagascar Ishah had returned to the UK and studied Drama and Theatre Arts at University in London. For the next 20 years Ishah remained in London except for a brief move to Spain. She worked as a TEFL teacher, consultant and examiner before moving into mental health support work including facilitating Art in Addiction. So it was with some trepidation that she decided to move her family to Cardiff where she knew only a couple of people.

Gloria Tanner

It is not surprising that Gloria went onto great success after her WMAD training. She is someone who is very strong-minded and despite working in roles within the trade union, she never felt the environment was different for her as a woman. Having already found her voice, Engendering Change was able to help her hone and perfect the skills she already encompassed as well as building back her confidence after retirement.

She feels very strongly about education within the political world.
“Many younger people today don’t have any faith in politics; the unemployed who usually come from the working class areas, children who are worse off, they tend to be not interested in politics because they don’t realise how important it is in their lives and that’s because of a lack of education I think.”

Whilst her trade union background meant that Gloria always had an interest in politics, she never felt ready to take the next step and retirement compounded this lack of confidence. 

“There aren’t many opportunities for women my age, it seems that once you reach 60 and retire, you’ve got nothing else to contribute and you can’t play a role in society.”
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