March 27, 2019
Looking at Laura now, you couldn’t begin to imagine what the last few years have been like for her. She’s a vibrant, young woman with a clear zest for life, so it’s hard to think of her at rock bottom, living in a refuge with her young son, but that’s exactly where she was not too long ago.
Laura was brave enough to share her story with us at our annual Participant Celebration Event earlier this year. This is her story, in her own words.
“Before New Leaf, I had been out of professional work for a number of years for several reasons, including; dysfunctional relationships and domestic violence, living in a refuge with my son, involvement with drugs and alcohol services and poor mental health. I was a scared, vulnerable girl who was lost.
“I felt like I couldn’t manage anything in life. But thanks to support from some great services near me, including Families First and My Space Housing Solutions, I started to get a glimpse of who I really was, not what others said I was, and I started to actually believe it.
“I’d heard about New Leaf from other people and something inside said to go and speak to them. When I met with my mentor, Kevin from Warrington Disability Partnership, we just clicked. He asked me what my hopes and dreams were and, by this point, I had some which I held very close to my heart. I really want to work with vulnerable people and childhood development and the courses I’ve been able to complete as part of New Leaf have helped me work towards my dream.
“I’ve had the most challenging year yet. I’ve moved out of supported accommodation, after over 4 years, into my own tenancy as well as completing my maths and English GCSE, Safeguarding level 2 course, Assertiveness training, training with Home Start, Level 3 First Aid and I’m due to start a Support in Schools course.
“It’s been challenging, especially as I’ve been doing all this with a 4-year-old, but my mentor has supported me all the way, providing advice, guidance and suggestions – all of which I try to hit head-on.
“I’m grateful for New Leaf coming into my life as I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. I’ve gone from being on medication, not coping and avoiding everything, to now smashing life, and enjoying it too. I’m in a completely different mindset, focusing on making the best life for me and my son. I really have turned over a new leaf.”
New Leaf is proud to be part of the Building Better Opportunities programme, funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the National Lottery Community Fund.
If, like Laura, you are currently out of work but have a dream of turning over a new leaf and making a difference to the lives of other people, get in touch:
T: 01925 452131