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.

Eleri Williams

Eleri has lived in Swansea her whole life with her close knit family. She is an academic high flyer with a first class honours degree in History and Politics and a Masters in Development & Human Rights for which she gained top grades.

Life took an unexpected turn and became more challenging when Eleri’s father suffered a stroke when she was midway through drafting her Masters’ thesis. She had to cope with massive changes in her circumstances as she literally became a carer overnight - responsible for cooking, cleaning, helping to get her father to and from hospital appointments. It was a shock to Eleri’s system and she struggled to come to terms with the weight of this new responsibility.

Shortly after her father’s stroke Eleri started looking for some meaningful opportunities she could fit into her life around caring for her disabled dad. She saw that Women Making a Difference were advertising a free community development course in Swansea. As she had always been passionate about human rights and volunteering in this sector she thought the course may be of interest. She wasn’t sure what to expect having never undertaken any adult education, outside of a university and academic setting. However, Eleri soon found the weekly sessions provided her with time and space to focus on herself (rather than on her father’s health and disability) and make new friends with likeminded women who wanted to make a change in their communities but were unsure of where to start and how they could make a difference.

Eleri went on to successfully complete Women for a Change, Women in Community Leadership, Active Citizens and Lets Get Women on Boards. She says that as a result she has developed far greater self-confidence and self-belief. Even though Eleri has always been highly academic she had a long held, abject fear of giving presentations and public speaking. Through Women Making a Difference’s courses she gained the confidence to represent Wales at an international event, has secured a job where one of her roles is to coach asylum seekers and refugees and she now regularly delivers awareness-raising talks.

The “Lets Get Women on Boards” scheme mentor Val Jones helped Eleri identify that she had skills that could be utilised effectively in a decision making role. Subsequently Eleri has become a trustee for the Swansea based charity Women 4 Resources where she has assisted in an advertising campaign for volunteers and to develop a funding strategy.

Women Making a Difference has caused massive changes in Eleri’s life; she comments “I find it difficult to put all the changes into words- but I cannot thank WMAD and their staff enough for all the opportunities they have provided me with; not only the courses, but the award ceremonies, the outreach sessions with the Welsh Government, the opportunity to attend an International Study Visit which has in turn given me a global network of friends and likeminded activists, the opportunity to facilitate a roundtable discussion at the 2015 International Women’s Day event, and ultimately skills that have led to a full time job and a trustee position.”

Welsh Government            newassembly

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