BARRY Island families have taken part in a United Nations-endorsed project that saw them graduate with honours.

More than 15 Barry Island families celebrated their achievements in a graduation ceremony after finishing an eight-week programme called Families and Schools Together (FAST) with Save the Children Wales supported by Morrisons.

Children, aged three-and-a-half plus and over, celebrated at the school - receiving medals, cups and certificates to mark their graduation day in style after completing the voluntary programme available to all families with young children.

Barry Island Primary head teacher Ty Golding said: "It is so important to celebrate and value what the families and children have achieved in order for us as a school and community to have continued success. Any achievement has to be an outcome of genuine collaboration between school and community."

Proud parent Nadia Ismail, mum of four-year-old Zainab, said: "This has been such a good experience for both of us. My daughter has developed in so many areas – she is much more confident and can communicate with people of all ages now."

Kelly Thomas also undertook the programme with her daughter Teagen.

She said: "We have loved every minute of this, Teagen asks every week when the next session is.

"We will be at a loss now, it has been so helpful for me. I am not from this area and through this I have made new friends. I am aiming to do a Facebook page so that all of the parents can keep in touch; it has truly been invaluable for me."

Twenty-four schools in Wales have benefitted from the FAST initiative, since 2010.

Mary Powell-Chandler, head of Save the Children in Wales said: "FAST makes a huge difference to the families that take part. It brings together the key elements that determine a child's success; their school, their family, and the community. FAST ensures that children are given the support they need to thrive. I am particularly happy that schools in my hometown are embracing this excellent programme."

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