Courses open to aid lone parents

Parents and children enjoying the Future Steps event
Parents and children enjoying the Future Steps event

A scheme to help lone parents is appealing for people to take part in courses in the new year.

A Christmas celebration for parents and children was held at Latimer Park to mark the success of the first year of Buckinghamshire’s Future Steps scheme for lone parents, with more than 50 people having taken part in courses during 2016. The event in December was a great success with mums and children, with the support of staff from Connexions, Buckinghamshire County Council, and the Waterside, Castlefield and Newtown Children’s Centres - and of course an appearance from Santa!

The Future Steps scheme, co-ordinated by the county council in collaboration with Jobcentre Plus and Connexions, offers the chance for lone parents to learn a range of skills - including food hygiene, first aid and interview techniques - to help them prepare for the workplace.

The training sessions are usually weekly over eight weeks and come with free childcare and travel.

Future Steps is now looking for people who’d like to take part in courses during 2017 in Aylesbury which are open to lone parents of any age who receive income support and who have a child under the age of five.

Buckinghamshire County Council’s cabinet member for community engagement and public health Margaret Aston said: “We’re so pleased with the take-up of the Future Steps courses during 2016 – these free sessions not only provide lone parents with valuable workplace skills, but they also offer a relaxed opportunity to get to know other parents in the local area. I’d really recommend these courses, which also include free travel and childcare, to anyone who fits the entry criteria – it’s a really positive move to make at the start of 2017.”

To apply for a place on the courses, or for more advice, speak to your adviser at Jobcentre Plus or ring Jo at Connexions on 07921 491690.