Some TOPs advice
Having a child early needn’t impede your ability to succeed.
So say the Training Opportunities for Young People (TOPs) programme – which is backed by the Big Lottery Fund and run by Rathbone Glasgow.
Designed to give young parents a network of support, career direction and that all important ingredient of self-confidence, the scheme has provoked a dramatic transformation in the lives of young people including Khadijatou Toure Jobe.
Khadijatou Toure Jobe receiving her Rathbone Scotland Achiever of the Year award from Marco Biagi MSP
Feeling isolated upon arriving in Scotland from Gambia in 2009, she soon found herself amongst friends and began to take her first steps into her chosen career of travel and tourism. Khadijatou’s progress was so impressive that she was one of only five young people honoured as a Rathbone Scotland Achiever of the Year at the Scottish Parliament in November last year.
Such is the impact made by TOPs that it recently attracted the interest of Scotland’s leading newspaper, The Daily Record. In a two-page feature mums Jane Lindsay (20) and Katie Cavanagh (also 20) were inspirational case studies. Both explained the level of prejudice aimed at young parents with Katie confessing: “A lot of people look down on you if you’re a young mum. When I walking with the pram I’d get people giving me funny looks, but I didn’t care what people thought as I knew I was doing the right thing.”
Katie meanwhile was adamant that she didn’t want to live a life on benefits and explained what TOPs had done for her. “They taught us to cook and we spent time with the babies and also did exercise classes and art. I’d like to be a social worker, help young mums or old people.”
Rathbone’s work with young parents isn’t confined to just Glasgow, though. West Yorkshire mum turned university student Hannah Dumphy inspired teenage parents at classes at Rathbone Huddersfield; while our Leicester centre hooked up with mums from local group, Kainé Management’s “Back on Track” programme.
View the Daily Record’s piece at http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/real-life/2012/07/16/two-teenage-mums-say-they-have-no-regrets-as-they-head-towards-brighter-future-86908-23909068/