Changing the Lives of Women
Growing Real Opportunities for Women (GROW) Cymru helps women earn a brighter future for themselves, their families and their community.
Through a structured and personalised action plan and career services GROW creates positive change in the lives of women struggle with social, economic and educational barriers to employment. GROW’s efforts help women isolated or frustrated in her job search, needs to discover their own abilities, gain employment and build a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.
We support/work (action plan) with women who feels isolated or frustrated in her job search, needs to establish a daily routine, wants a network of resources and support and is committed to being an active participant in an experience that is life changing.
We meet the woman where she is and offer employment services, community resources and financial coaching to reset their life so she can move forward. Women who complete our program have a network of support they can count on long after the program ends because we never close a file
Meet the Team
Sharon is a serial entrepreneur she has a wide range of abilities and experience with particular strengths in networking and communication to develop and buildpartnerships. She has extensive experience of business / enterprise both as an entrepreneur, enterprise service provider, and a facilitator working with non-traditional groups as they explore enterprise. She has strong project and staff management skills with a special strength for finance. She is a clear-thinking, organised and methodical administrator / manager who handles rapid change well and enjoys the challenge of establishing and developing enterprise in all its aspects.
Having founded several social enterprises working with the most disadvantaged and marginalised within Welsh society. Specialising in employability, enterprise development, training and on-going support for individuals and groups throughout Wales.
She was also the National Network Development Manager, developing, designing and establishing a National Network to support prisoners, which was a project funded by the Home Office via the dti’s Small Business Service (SBS), Phoenix Development Fund. This role entailed working with the Home Office, Prison Service, Probation and partner organisations to establish a route by which prisoners can
access support to set up their own enterprise on release.
In 2001 she founded 21st Century Business Solutions a Virtual PA services aimed at providing administration and facilities support to SME’s within South West Wales. Whilst running 21st Century she was nominated for the Swansea Bay Businesswoman of the Year.
2006 – Named “Women of Enterprise” ambassador for Wales by the dti Small Business Service where she took part in their national promotional campaign to raise awareness of female entrepreneurship. The video became a Case Study featured permanently on the SBS website.
2011 – Became a “UK Female Entrepreneur” ambassador campaigning to inspire women of all ages to become entrepreneurs and to set up their own businesses.
Eileen has worked in the world of women’s personal and professional development for the last twenty-five years: designing, developing and delivering training programmes and projects across the United Kingdom.
She says she has been privileged to work alongside some truly inspirational women and believes that when women support each other they can achieve remarkable things.
Eileen has been the CEO of a social enterprise that focused on helping women to ‘give themselves a job’ by developing their own businesses, worked in women’s prisons, with homeless women, lone parents and women returners, and also in the corporate world with women executives.
Eileen believes “We all have one thing in common … we’re all different, but a lot of our stories, struggles and challenges are the same irrespective of our beginnings”.
Jill Downs has had a variety of leadership roles within the Food Industry and Pharmaceutical / Healthcare Sectors spanning over 40 years.
Jill studied Food Science at Bridgend College of Technology and furthered her studies at Cranfield University in Manufacturing and Swansea College where she studied for her CIPD.
Her job roles have included Manufacturing Director, Site Director, and Commercial Director within Blue Chip companies such as Bayer plc, RHM and Premier Foods and her current role of Innovation Director at a FTSE listed FMCG Food Manufacturing Company with its Head Office based at Cardiff, South Wales.
Jill has entered many prestigious events and competitions in the food industry specialising in Cake and Dessert Retail Development where she has won a great number of awards and accolades for both cake and desserts, a highlight in her career that she is very proud of and one where she has had the wonderful opportunity to work with well-known celebrity Bakers, Patissiers and Chefs
Her passions are her family, travel and gardening, and outside of her work commitments you can find her enjoying life “down west“ in her family caravan in Pembrokeshire, travelling to new places in search of exciting new life experiences and getting down and dirty in her wellies in her garden at the family home in the Welsh valleys.
Lynah started her career at Sainsbury’s, where she spent 15 years as a HR Manager. Having built and maintained a robust, collaborative network of internal and external partners including colleagues, customers and other stakeholders to ensure delivery of operational excellence.
You will find that she has broad industry insight, able to recognise emerging trends in the market and potential obstacles to success and innovate and implement tenable solutions to meet challenges head-on. Lynah is currently working with Mobius Services Ltd; specialist in business performance as a HR Business Partner.