Managing Director, The Fern Partnership
The Fern Partnership is an award-winning charitable organisation set up in 2014 under the name of ‘The Friends of Ferndale’ to deliver a range of education and community projects within the upper Rhondda Fach in South Wales.
Michelle Coburn-Hughes is its founding and managing director, leading a 50-strong team. The partnership principally exists to guide people into meaningful employment. And for those where this isn’t an immediate employment option they help people access appropriate benefits and childcare services.
The partnership is founded on a business model that searches out active collaboration opportunities with similarly purposeful local organisations in South Wales. Working with the Ferndale Community School, The Fern Partnership has opened two childcare facilities, running community classes, job clubs, holiday programmes and employment support in a local library.
Michelle has taken a particular interest in the ‘Generations Together’ programme, which reduces social isolation by bringing young people and the elderly together.
She has almost 20 years’ experience in the education sector and is motivated by consistently striving for the next goal. “Determination and dedication will pull you through the tough times, and it is all compensated by the idea you can make a difference.”