March 2, 2018
New Leaf, the innovative £10.6 million employment project for Warrington and Cheshire held their second partnership conference this week.
Based around the theme of ‘The Participants Journey’, attendees from 25 different partner agencies braved the ‘Beast from the East’ to come together to celebrate the success of their first year and to review what could be done better going forward.
Held at Orford Jubilee Hub in Warrington, delegates were welcomed by Chris Mcloughlin, Chair of the New Leaf Board, and heard a number of presentations as well as took part in a variety of workshops which aimed to identify ways participants are attracted, supported and achieve successful exits from the programme.
Delegates were also able to meet a number of participants and hear how New Leaf had helped them. This included Karen Hinchcliffe, who had received mentoring support from the Disability Information Bureau to return to work after illness. Karen said: “I feel fortunate to have be part of New Leaf. Thanks to my mentor I not only got my mojo back but also a job that I love. For the first time I am now very much looking forward to the future.”
Delegates also met local artist Erin Kinvig, craftsman Simon Taylor and were entertained by close up magician Steven J Icke, who through a variety of support from New Leaf partners, including Upturn Enterprises, Weaver Vale Housing Trust, Groundwork and Golden Gates Housing Trust, now have the confidence to become self-employed.
Andy Rawlins, Programme Manager, said: “Despite the snow we had an amazing turnout and the day was a great success. It allowed us to see just how much we have achieved in our first year and what we can learn from each other going forward.”
“It was also fantastic to hear how New Leaf has impacted on people’s lives. These amazing accounts have made our partners even more determined to get more participants onto the programme and to start their journey towards a better life.”
New Leaf is a £10.6 million 3-year scheme, led by Golden Gates Housing Trust (GGHT). It is running until October 2019 and is part of the Building Better Opportunities programme funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.