June 27, 2019
To say Vicky is a busy bee is a bit of an understatement. She works part time at Port Grocery, co-hosts a radio show, looks after 65,000 bees and volunteers with various charities across Ellesmere Port. But that wasn’t always the case. Before Vicky joined New Leaf, she had been out of work for three years.
Port Grocery, a membership-based food club, takes high-quality food which would ordinarily have gone to landfill and makes it available for the community. Vicky was volunteering her time there, offering support with the allotment and a listening ear for those in need. But she wanted something more.
I like building a rapport with people. I’m good at talking to people and I like being able put people at ease.
For Vicky, she had already found her passion – helping people. But Vicky wasn’t sure how she could get into work in a role she was passionate about and, after being overlooked for paid roles, she decided to seek the advice of New Leaf. Her New Leaf mentor, Lesley, was able to help her with this. Along with support with her finances, aspirations and self-confidence, Lesley also gave Vicky a mock interview to prepare her, should any paid roles become available at Port Grocery. Luckily, one such role did become available, and after an interview, Vicky was offered a part-time job at Port Grocery! Now, Vicky helps in the kitchen, creating nutritious meals for people in need.
Although Vicky was already volunteering with Port Grocery before she joined New Leaf, being a paid employee there was a different experience. Luckily, New Leaf can provide in-work support to make sure you are happy and healthy in your new role. Lesley, Vicky’s mentor, was there for Vicky while she was adjusting to her new paid role.
Throughout her in-work support, Vicky was still able to access New Leaf course. Due to her friendly and caring nature, Vicky was invited to become a peer mentor on the courses. In this voluntary role she was able to put her nurturing side to good use, supporting other participants to feel comfortable.
New Leaf is such a personal experience. It was focused on me and what I needed, which is rare but very much needed and appreciated. The 8 weeks of in-work support I received from Lesley helped me to keep my motivation and focus.
I am feeling good, very positive about my future. I am loving my job and hope I have it for years to come.
Cheshire West and Chester Council’s New Leaf mentor, Lesley, had this to say about Vicky’s time on New Leaf.
It has been a pleasure to work with Vicky. She is a very motivated and determined person who works really hard. She does so much in the local community and is constantly on the go. I have no doubt she will continue in her job as well as volunteering and helping people as much as she can.
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.