All it took was a leaflet to help give Claire, from Warrington, the push she needed to change her life. - New Leaf


June 23, 2022

All it took was a leaflet to help give Claire, from Warrington, the push she needed to change her life.

Claire was feeling stuck and in limbo after a major change in her personal life along with some issues with anxiety that were holding her back from taking the next step in her career. But when she saw the flyer for New Leaf at the children’s centre where she was volunteering, she made a decision that changed everything.

Claire’s situation before New Leaf was very different to where she is now. While she had taken small steps in the direction she wanted to go, she needed something to give her the confidence and motivation to make that big leap.

“Due to suffering with anxiety, New Leaf gave me the confidence and support to apply for college, this is something I wouldn’t have done without my mentor Clare’s help. I thought I was too old! Clare listened to me and helped me set out a plan of what I wanted to do, I’ve since completed college and now have a job. I would certainly recommend New Leaf to anyone in the same position as me.”

“Around four years ago I was volunteering at a children’s centre. Someone came in with the flyers for New Leaf, so I took one, read it and applied straight away. They got back to me quickly and soon after that I first met my mentor, Clare. She asked what I wanted to do, which was to go to college and get training to work with children, so she just said ‘Right, let’s go and apply for college then!’ and that was it.

“At that moment in time my personal circumstances had just changed and I was in limbo, wondering what I was going to do. I knew from my volunteering that I wanted to work with kids and was thinking about childcare courses but hadn’t done anything about it until I heard about New Leaf. When I looked into it I realised it sounded just right for me.”

Having a proactive and supportive mentor available meant that Claire was helped to understand what options she had, to make her dreams come true as well as the encouragement and assistance to actually make it happen.

“Clare (my mentor) was amazing. She knew that I suffered really bad anxiety at that time, and she was so patient with me. She wrote down all the options I had, telling me that I could either go for an apprenticeship or go to college. When I picked college, she said ‘Come on, let’s fill the application out right now then!’”

Since then, Claire’s confidence and skills have come along in leaps and bounds as she has not only gained two college qualifications but also started a job in her chosen career, giving her the boost she needed to really change her life for the better.

“The course we applied for was my Teaching Assistant Level 2 at Warrington College and I’ve since done my Level 3 there too. As I was doing the course I met a girl who told me that they needed more staff where she worked at The Warren Pre-School in Woolston, and I’ve been working there for three years now as a Pre-School Educator.”

Claire knows just how much picking up that New Leaf leaflet has meant for her and recommends that anyone else who is in that position should follow her example:

“I’d definitely recommend New Leaf to anyone who is like me and was in limbo, not knowing what to do next, or for someone who knows what they want but isn’t sure how to go about it. I’d definitely go through New Leaf because they’ll help you with anything you need. I just needed that push that Clare gave me.”

The New Leaf programme is all about you. Taking the time to learn what has held you back in the past and what needs to be done to help you overcome those barriers going forward to create long-lasting change.

If you are currently out of work and living in Warrington or Cheshire, New Leaf could help you overcome your barriers and have a brighter future, sign up to New Leaf today.

New Leaf is led by Torus Foundation and is part of the Building Better Opportunities Programme, funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and The National Lottery Community Fund.

New Leaf Lottery Funded