When Erika Williams, facilitator of CSMC’s career, work and wellbeing program Bloom, launched the program she knew there was a need for a career program especially designed for single mothers – and the response she got confirmed she was right.
“As single mums, our barriers and challenges are often unseen and unheard,” Erika explains. “We’re women who tend to work in underpaid, overworked feminised industries like the care sector; we’re women who multitask every day; we’re women accustomed to putting the needs of others before our own.
“We’re women with practical skills and steely determination who often just keep on going with mouths to feed.”
Bloom, a program facilitated with single mother lived experience and expertise, was designed to best addresses the underlying issues that lie at the heart of the daily challenges single mothers face, which includes work and careers.
“Bloom brings a new model of working with single mums,” says Erika. “It’s an individually tailored online program, easily accessible through online fortnightly consults, with time in between to think and do, and a monthly face-to-face session for women to connect with other single mums.”
Following the success of the first program in Wyndham, CSMC are now bringing Bloom to regional Victoria, starting in Shepparton in July, with other regional centres to follow. If you are a single mother living in the Shepparton area seeking an opportunity to focus on your work or study future, or if you need a hand to regain confidence, return to work, or explore opportunities to upskill, retrain or reframe your career, Bloom can benefit you.
Every single mother Erika works with has a different story. Some are beginning all over again after a traumatic event or raising their kids; others may have worked for many years before finally deciding to think about what work they actually want to do.
“You maybe 35 or 55; have one child or four,” says Erika. “You might be wanting to re-skill, up-skill or just get a new perspective. Bloom meets you where you are at; there are no prescribed measures, no one perspective on working – it just starts a conversation.
“Bloom gives you an opportunity to bring the woman behind the mother to the centre of your world for just a moment, so your voice can be heard, your confidence can be raised and your aspirations realised.”
As one Bloom client reflected, the fact that this program is run by CSMC makes Bloom ideal for single mothers.
“Being a single parent can be a very lonely and misunderstood road,” she says. “I think because there are so many of us, it’s kind of taken for granted how hard it is and how strong and probably tired the woman are who are in that position are. A helping hand of any kind can mean the absolute world to a single mother.”
Bloom’s Shepparton program starts in July, with the program being extended to other Victorian regions over the next year. Watch this space for future dates and locations.
About our Bloom facilitator
Erika Williams has designed and facilitated award-winning programs that empower women and girls to find their own voice, prioritise their wellbeing and enhance their confidence and capacity for employment and education. Erika is a single mother and daughter of a single mother and brings to Bloom a passion for advancing the lives of single mothers with care and compassion.
Contact Erika on 0423 189 340 or email email@example.com.