In Funding Stories, Life skills, education & employability

Project: To increase the employability of long-term unemployed women through fashion design and sewing

Grant: £4,990

Fund: Community Investor Fund 

Daytop Multicultural Centre provides resources and support to ethnic minority groups throughout Buckinghamshire to increase their employability and aid community cohesion and integration.

Tote bag made by one of the women

A grant from Heart of Bucks enabled Daytop to support 15 long-term unemployed women from ethnic minority groups and increase their employability via a fashion design and sewing program. Each woman is now able to design and sew a variety of clothing and accessories including face-masks, blouses, skirts, jumpers, scarves, and much more.

Many women from ethnic minority backgrounds find themselves socially isolated and cut off from their communities which can lead to various challenges ranging from mental health problems to long-term unemployment. This project provided the women with a safe space to come together, share their experiences and form lasting relationships and was a vital tool to solve the social isolation that many had reported previously.

The program was designed to help teach the women skills to aid their personal development and build confidence through learning about fashion design and sewing, job interview preparation, and advice on how to secure employment.  The project also involved a work placement that provided the women with critical work experience to help them prepare for their future employment. The feedback from the women was overwhelmingly positive with each of them noting an increase in confidence, inspiration to advance their skills further, and motivation to find employment.

Additionally, the women were taught how to design and create their own corporate logos and run advertisements for products they were producing to help them launch a self-employed career if they so wished as one woman highlighted:

“I now have more confidence in myself and I hope to start a business with my newly made friends that I met on this project. Thank you so much”.

Heart of Bucks visit Daytop

Daytop Staff with Heart of Bucks representatives

Daytop were kind enough to invite Heart of Bucks for a visit to showcase the positive impact that our funding had. Mark Bradbury (Heart of Bucks Trustee) and Kathryn Hobbs (grant panel member) attended the centre and were warmly greeted by the staff and many of the women who had benefitted from the programme. Both Mark and Kathryn were very kindly gifted clothing and accessories, which the women had made as part of their training and development.

Daytop were exceptionally accommodating and provided both Mark and Kathryn with an immensely enjoyable afternoon as Mark explained:

Mark Bradbury’s speech

“We both really enjoyed the event and were extremely impressed with the beautiful colourful clothes and accessories produced in such a short period of training.”

Mark then finished the afternoon with a speech to offer his congratulations and offered words of encouragement to the women.

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