August 2, 2019
Nicola has worked in a range of different roles throughout her life, but one took president over them all – being a mum.
After taking three years out of work to look after her son, the idea of finding a job was overwhelming for Nicola. During her years out of work, her anxiety had worsened. For Nicola, not having a job meant the idea of being in a group of people overwhelming. But Nicola was positive and determined to start a career where she was around children and so was referred to New Leaf by her local children’s centre.
Soon after joining the New Leaf programme, Nicola started on a couple of training programmes designed to improve her confidence, and more importantly for Nicola, help her to adjust to being in groups of people she didn’t know. Being around like-minded individuals who were on their own journeys back to work really helped ease Nicola’s anxiety.
But New Leaf wasn’t always easy for Nicola. Her anxiety meant she had a history of running away from situations she wasn’t comfortable with. However, her mentor, Joan, was able to teach Nicola strategies to help her overcome these feelings.
“When someone is serious about moving on in life, New Leaf can, and have, made it happen for so many”
With this newfound confidence, not only socially, but in her own abilities, Nicola started on a course to get her closer to her dream role. Nicola had loved worked as a childminder but needed her job to work around her own childcare needs. A qualification in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools was a perfect first step to getting into a career Nicola was passionate about.
“For myself, my biggest achievement was sticking with New Leaf, rather than resorting to my classic ‘bolt’ behaviour brought on by my anxiety. I wanted to show others that I do not wish to be that push over. New Leaf gave me the chance to do that, to see a conflict of interest can be dealt with in a professional manner. I want to be able to carry on building my confidence and be a role model for those who need one. Thank you to my mentor, Joan, and New Leaf for making me feel capable.”
Nicola’s mentor, Joan said:
“Nicola has been delightful to work with. Since she started on the Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools course, Nicola has positively flourished, visibly grown and relished in the positive feedback she received from tutors. I have little doubt that Nicola will move into a childcare environment role when a suitable role comes available.”
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.