Jackie's Story - New Leaf


April 12, 2022

Jackie’s Story

When Jackie was first referred to New Leaf, her life was in a completely different place. She felt isolated from those she loved, was overcoming addiction and was out of work with no direction. Now, thanks to support from her New Leaf mentor and specialist mental health support, she is rebuilding her life, gaining confidence and looking forward. This is Jackie’s story.

“When I was referred to New Leaf, I was living in supported housing, following a programme to help with recovery. I was living separately from my children, I had started separation and divorce proceedings from my husband and I was unemployed after having lost my job and the place that I had loved working. I was kind of separated away from family and friends and was feeling really isolated. Feeling worthless. I heard about the New Leaf programme through the Police. They were discussing my caution for what I had done and they suggested New Leaf and made the referral on my behalf.”

Once referred to New Leaf, Jackie worked 1-to-1 with a mentor who really understood the challenges she was facing and helped build her up to take the next step in her recovery:

“I’ve had direct help through my mentor, Donna – she’s given me housing advice, financial support and she’s going to be giving me help on my CV for getting future employment. She and I both go through all the different courses and development opportunities available and we choose ones that would be right for me. I’ve just finished a course called Achieve and Believe with Groundwork, and it’s geared at people like me who are maybe ready to take that next step in towards the workplace or doing some voluntary work. There’s been other courses, like a Public Health course that I really enjoyed because I like doing things that are healthcare-related.”

At New Leaf, we work directly with Making Space who provide free and specialist mental health support to New Leaf participants to help them overcome the barriers keeping them from reaching their full potential. Jackie received 4 months of cCBT (computerised cognitive behavioural therapy) as part of her New Leaf programme.

“cCBT has been life-changing really. I was put through bereavement counselling in the past, but I didn’t find that useful at all. The cCBT that I did with Making Space deals with the issues that I have now, but it also helped me to deal with a lot of my issues that have been caused from things that have happened in the past.”


Emma, Jackie’s Psychological Wellbeing Support Worker from Making Space also noticed a huge change during her time working with Jackie:

“Jackie is living proof that hard work pays off. When I first met Jackie she was unsure about her own decisions, second-guessing her feelings and her own ability, struggling to accept herself and prioritise what she needed. I am so pleased that Jackie is now getting back into the community doing something she loves and something she’s good at. The change in Jackie has been absolutely phenomenal; she has got her life back.”


The work Jackie has done with New Leaf has led to huge, long-lasting changes in her life. She has been able to build her confidence, overcome long-term issues and most importantly, get her self-worth back and begin to think about a future career.

“I know if I am struggling with anything I know I can ring Donna from New Leaf and she’ll be able to help me. I’ve never really received support like this before from any organisation. I am coming to realise that I can give value. Because of that, I am looking at getting a voluntary position in a dementia cafe and helping out with carers and people living with dementia coming for coffee.

“Through this voluntary work, I’m hoping to get back into the actual workplace again. New Leaf has done that for me. They turned me from somebody who was sitting in a room all day, from morning through to night, to someone that is helping people in the community, which is what I want to do, ultimately getting a job and be just a normal member of society.”

The New Leaf programme is all about you. Taking the time to learn what’s 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.

“What’s genuinely different about New Leaf, is that you genuinely feel like you are moving on and getting back into employment, and they are there to help and support you. That makes a big difference – I don’t feel like a number, I feel like a person. I don’t feel like just a box that needs to be ticked.

“I would definitely recommend the programme. I meet a lot of people in recovery from addictions and people in similar situations to mine, and I always promote New Leaf. It’s important for others to know organisations like this exist, that there are people out there that care and can provide so many opportunities. New Leaf has shown me how to look after my mental wellbeing and I want to carry that forward into whatever I do, whether it’s in the workplace or in the voluntary workforce. 

“New Leaf has given me my confidence back. It has made me feel like a worthwhile person again and has taught me skills and tools to help me look after my own mental health. It has helped me see that I do have a lot to give and that there are lots of possibilities out there for me. It has also provided opportunities for learning and opportunities to meet new people, something that I struggle with. I have met like-minded people who I can identify with. It has made me realise that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. And not to give up.”


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.

If you have been inspired by Jackie’s story and would like our help and support to pursue your dream job, then why not 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