We shine the spotlight on local resident Penny, who is an active member in our local community and started her community journey with the New Leaf centre.

‘I am an ex-tenant and “was not in a good place” when I turned to New Leaf for Welfare advice when they first opened.

It was suggested that I do some voluntary work, so I started volunteering at the Community Café. This quickly led onto me joining the Befriending Programme, where I visited people that felt lonely to have a chat with them, and help them get more active in their community.

Whilst on the Befriending Programme I was given the opportunity to start a Community Development Course run by New Leaf, and during this course it was decided that  we would like to start a Community Shop project. From concept, planning, building and up to completion I was fully involved in the process along with other volunteers, and now that the shop is  up and running,  I still volunteer there.

Unfortunately I have recently been unwell, and without the help of my New Leaf friends and volunteers, I would not have been able to return to volunteering in the way that I have. I have always found New Leaf staff very approachable, and I know that if I need help again New Leaf are there to support me in a confidential manner. Without getting help from New Leaf I would not have coped and I would not want to say where I would be financially and emotionally.

Because of the help I’ve received from New Leaf and all its staff I feel that in the future I would like to gain skills that would enable me to help other people.’

If you would like to find out about any of the services New Leaf offer, please call 020 8319 8416 or drop in to the office at 124a Blaker Court.