November 19, 2018
Confidence can play a huge part in getting a job, especially for someone like Jade, who had been bullied at school and subsequently been knocked back from job after job for not having enough experience.
It was on a routine visit from one of GGHT’s housing officers that Jade first found out about New Leaf – a 1-2-1, bespoke employment service that specialises in building confidence and getting people closer to work. At that time, Jade’s anxiety meant she was rarely leaving the house and spending most of her time in her bedroom. So, having the courage to come to a New Leaf meeting was a massive step.
“I was quite nervous meeting New Leaf for the first time and I did find it difficult, but my initial contact was with Emma, GGHT’s community energiser, who was a similar age to me, and I felt like she understood where I was coming from. I can honestly say at that time I didn’t know what I wanted to do and didn’t feel that I had the right skills to get a job” said Jade
New Leaf is part of the Building Better Opportunities programme, funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund. It works with over 25 different partners across Warrington and Cheshire to help people get closer to employment. Karen, Jade’s mentor, utilised these to help improve Jade’s confidence and build up her aspirations. This involved Jade attending confidence courses, working on her interview skills and achieving accredited qualifications in Food Safety and COSH. But it was volunteering at the Craft Room at CLIC which really made a difference. Here, Jade was introduced to people running their own small businesses and she started to wonder if she could do the same.
Jade was introduced to Steve at self-employment specialists, Upturn. Jade and Steve developed the idea of her starting an ironing business. Steve worked with People Plus to help Jade access the New Enterprise Allowance, which offers people who are out of work additional money to help with setting up a business. Jade was supported to create a business plan and assisted with marketing strategies and resources such as flyers to promote the business. New Leaf also helped with sole trader business insurance to enable Jade’s business to start. Because of some really good joined-up working, involving New Leaf, Upturn, People Plus, and CLIC, Jade was able to start trading with continued financial and mentoring support. Now ‘The Ironing Room’ is fully trading and looking for new clients.
Jade said, “I feel a lot more confident. I am managing my anxiety better, I have made friends and am keeping myself busy. My plan is to get more customers and make my business a success. I had thought about working self-employed but didn’t think it was possible. When I joined New Leaf I thought ‘here’s my chance to make something of myself’. Now I am just hoping to make my ironing business a success. I would definitely recommend New Leaf to anyone. It helps people get out more and to build on the skills they did or didn’t think they had”
Karen said, “Getting involved with New Leaf was a real life changer for Jade. Her anxiety had made her a bit of a recluse and although her family was really supportive they didn’t really know what else to do to encourage her. Getting involved at CLIC has given her so much more confidence and a feeling of self-worth. She has made friends and feels part of something. She is even encouraging her Mum and brother to get involved with her business. Her social and interpersonal skills have greatly improved and that is a real credit to her and her determination to make it work.”
If, like Jade, you don’t know how to get on the career ladder and are considering starting your own business, why not give New Leaf a try?