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.

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.

Although Sarah considers herself confident, as she had previously only attended courses run by one organisation - STAR community centre, she felt a bit apprehensive about stepping out of her comfort zone and starting over with a group she did not know. She needn’t have worried as the tutors Jane and Sheila immediately put her and the entire group at ease. Sarah loved the course structure and that there was a focus on getting to know each other really well. She was excited to meet women from diverse backgrounds and cultures with life experiences. She found that through the sessions different individual strengths emerged and the women supported each other eager to help ensure the whole group succeeded.

After the first course she wanted to continue her learning journey and signed up for another course run by Women Making a Difference. As a result she is an integral part of a new social action project which aims produce a guide to help refugees and migrants new to the UK. The plan is to launch this guide during refugee week. As well as giving Sarah a new circle of friendship and support Sarah credits WMAD with giving her the direction she needed to seek further learning opportunities and plan her career. Recently she has been part of a pilot scheme run by Community Development Cymru, something she would never have considered before attending the Women Making a Difference courses.

Sarah says the courses empowered her and also gave her a massive confidence boost. They have helped towards crystallizing her future plans. She now has greater awareness of political processes and would like to study for a Social Science degree and plans to start a career in community development when her son is in full time education. She also has ambitions to sit on a board and plans to apply for the mentoring development programme to move closer to achieving this goal..

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