A PROJECT praised by Prime Minister Theresa May for helping mums back into work, is appealing for funding or free office space.

Publicity surrounding Mrs May’s visit to Oxford-based TechPixies 10 days ago sent enquiries soaring by 60 per cent.

The social enterprise supports mothers who have been out of the workplace, by teaching them digital skills.

During the past 17 months, it has helped 19 local women.

It is now targeting mums from Rose Hill, Blackbird Leys, Abingdon, Bicester, Wantage, Witney Banbury, Didcot, Henley and Thame, for courses starting next month and in September.

But founder Joy Foster says the TechPixies team needs cash, or the use of free office space one day a week for five weeks, to help another 100 mums.

Mother-of-two Ms Foster from East Oxford said: “We can only run more courses and help mums return to work, if we receive grant funding or donations via our website.

“Alternatively, if any of Oxfordshire’s business owners have office space they could provide one day a week from 10am to 2pm for five weeks, we would love to hear from them.”

During her meeting with TechPixies on May 15 in an East Oxford office space provided by accountancy firm Grant Thornton, the Prime Minister said: “TechPixies is a fantastic organisation that is helping women gain new skills to return to work and perhaps even set-up their own business.

“This is what we want to see more of in the future.”

TechPixies recently raised £7,000 through online fundraising site Crowdfunder.

It smashed through its initial target of £5,000 in two weeks.

The course is designed to fit around nursery and school hours and includes a mix of practical and classroom-based learning.

Candidates are paired with local charities and social enterprises to gain work experience.

Newbury-based energy supply specialist FiDUS Power donated £2,500 to the crowdfunding appeal.

Marketing manager and mother-of-two Vanessa Eadington said: “The owner of FiDUS has always been committed to flexible working and helping mums upskill when returning to work.”

Ms Foster launched TechPixies in 2015, after securing backing from the Government’s Equalities Office via Better Broadband for Oxfordshire and Oxfordshire County Council.

She added: “We are also grateful to the Prime Minister for taking time out of her busy schedule to meet with us.

“We had record-breaking interest in our courses following her visit.”

For more information about TechPixies courses, or to donate, see techpixies.com