A GROUP of enterprising mothers found a way to turn their talents into cash this month back in 2003.

They took part in an empowering new course, STEPS to Excellence, run by the Neilston-based New Community Schools.

Aimed at improving self-esteem and instilling positive thinking into people’s everyday lives, the course was designed to allow the women participating to gain the confidence to think big.

And this week 15 years ago, the group of young mums organised an arts and crafts fair to promote their new creative gifts.

Gillian McKinlay explained: “We all got together and took part in the course. We then decided to organise an arts and craft fair.

“When we were talking, we discovered we each had something to offer.

“We now hope to do it more regularly and it is all thanks to the course, which gave us the confidence.”

The STEPS course, organised through the Levern Valley Partnership’s Jobs Action team, was launched to tap into people’s potential, with various workshops and visits to agencies such as the Small Business Gateway being staged to show what could be achieved.

Viv Middleton, community learning development officer, said at the time: “We aim to help parents so we can help the community, which will in turn improve education.

“It was a great achievement to organise the arts fair.

“The women were excellent. They decided to do this, pulled together and just went for it. They believed that the course had given them the confidence.”