I’ve wanted to write something for a little while now; to put into words just how much the college and team have helped me. But honestly, I still don’t think words could describe it. When I initially found New Leaf Recovery and Wellbeing College, I didn’t realise then just how much I needed to be a part of the community. At first for me it was just a curiosity, to attend one session on Spirituality; to connect with other individuals and gain new perspectives. But it turned into so much more than I could ever have imagined and I’m so glad it did!
I continued with the college and enrolled onto the Student development Programme with few expectations and an open mind. Being a single parent to three children at that time I hadn’t been able to get out much and socialise, so this was a great first step for me to find my voice again and meet new people.
After I completed the programme, I was offered opportunities to co-facilitate courses, be class support, create and amend courses, edit the newsletter and attend a holistic fair! So many different things I had the absolute pleasure of being a part of. I was able to speak freely with no judgment, share my ideas and feel valued doing it too, which isn’t something I had experienced in a while. The experience gave me opportunity to grow as a person and I really couldn’t ask for anything more.
I volunteered within the college for around a year and I learnt so much. I was able to just be me. While I love being mum, I enjoy being Kirsty too! While I have moved on from the college, there is a lot I take with me. Gentle reminders within challenges I face, whether it be at work or at home. I have learned that mental health matters, that it’s so okay to do what feels right for you and it’s okay if that doesn’t make sense to anyone else; because the life you’re living is your own!
So, a big thank you from me to New Leaf Recovery and Wellbeing College. I have made some wonderful friends and I hope our paths cross again in the future.
Sending hope to everyone.