When Ysgol Maes Y Mynydd opened in 2008, Jane Hand realised that if she was going to give the best possible support to the children, she needed to help the parents as well.
Many parents are unemployed, struggle with health issues and low self-esteem. She created the Butterflies parents group and Back2School to help those parents improve their lives and the lives of their families.
Through Butterflies, Jane has co-ordinated the delivery of a range of courses and engagement activities, including basic skills, first aid training and Welsh. Back2school is a group where parents work with their children to mirror what is being learnt at school. Her mentoring has encouraged parents to volunteer in the school, which has given them the boost they needed to get out to find a job, think about career prospects, build new friendships and lead healthier lifestyles.
Jane herself left school at 16 with just a few GCSE’s and was working in a fast food restaurant when she had her first daughter. She started volunteering at her daughter’s school and this was where her own learning journey was kickstarted. She gained a diploma at Glyndwr University and is currently studying for a top up degree in Counselling Children and Young people.
Her nominator, Gemma Latham, says, “Jane has helped so many children but also so many families, she has helped me through my darkest times, I thought I had no prospects, no confidence and I’m thankful for everything that she has done for me”.