November 7, 2017

Volunteering helped Sue to overcome her anxiety

Lady in a high vis vest smiling at the camera

Sue Savory, from Chester recently approached New Leaf partner, Chester Voluntary Action looking for volunteering opportunities.

A National Lottery and European funded programme, New Leaf works with multiple partners across Warrington and Cheshire to support local residents into employment, volunteering or further education and skills training.

Sue, 31 also has a learning difficulty, and hoped that giving her time to help a good cause would enable her to overcome severe anxiety, a condition that had left her feeling socially isolated and lacking in confidence for years.

Dee Gunning, Development Worker at Chester Voluntary Action knew straight away that Sue was a perfect candidate for New Leaf, and that the project could give her the dedicated 1-2-1 support she needed.

Over the next few months with the help of her assigned New Leaf mentor, Sue tried volunteering with a number of organisations, but unfortunately her anxiety kept getting the better of her, but everything changed when she accepted to be a voluntary steward at the Chester Pride Festival.

After really enjoying the experience it has now given Sue the confidence to get the bus by herself and to sign up for similar future events. It has also provided her with the opportunity to socialise and the confidence to talk to new people too.

Sue concludes, “The support from Dee and New Leaf has been great, I don’t think I would be where I am today without them. Being on the project has given me someone to talk to and point me in the right direction when I need further support. I still need to work on my confidence to apply for a job but feel like I am getting there. “

New Leaf is a £10.6 million 3-year scheme, led by Golden Gates Housing Trust (GGHT), and part of the Building Better Opportunities programme.

To find out more about New Leaf and how they can help you, call 01925 452131 or email

Lady in a high vis vest smiling at the camera
New Leaf Lottery Funded