Trainee Appointments Show Power Of Recovery

Two LEAP volunteers have secured employment as trainees with the Good Shepherd thanks to the funding support of music icon Robert Plant.

Donna Grosvenor and Vicky Mosedale, who have both made excellent contributions as part of the LEAP project, are now working part-time for the charity in what is their first paid employment for 20 and nine years respectively.

LEAP, funded by the Oak Foundation, is the programme open to volunteers who have experienced homelessness and other complex issues, where they support people accessing the Good Shepherd who are facing similar challenges, whilst also taking advantage of different training opportunities and self-improvement.

Both Donna, who has been with LEAP for two years, and Vicky, a volunteer for eight months, have faced serious challenges in life relating to areas such as addiction and poor mental health, but are delighted to have accepted this chance of a fresh start.

“I am really proud to have been successful in landing one of the trainee roles, and I think it is proof that recovery really is possible,” says Donna.

“I have worked hard over the last couple of years to get to where I am, but a lot has come out from that hard work, and I can’t believe the opportunities that we’ve been given.

“It shows that if you want to change then you can, and I couldn’t think of doing anything else now.

“Everything has got better for me because of LEAP – the way I deal with people, my attitude to life, my world has changed and I’m in such a good space now.

“The Good Shepherd has become my oxygen – I just want to absorb as much as I can, learning something new every single day, and continuing to progress.”

Vicky echoes those sentiments as she heads into her exciting new role.

“When you have been a drug addict, or an alcoholic, you think your life is over, and that you might never ever get back into work,” she says.

“LEAP has given all of us the opportunity to learn new things, and put all of our hidden skills to the test.

“People with our history have that ability to help others who are going through similar situations, as we have the experience of the very same issues and challenges.

“It does really show that recovery is possible, and there are opportunities for us to grow every single day for which I am so grateful.”

Both Donna and Vicky, who are studying their NVQ Level 3 in Health and Social Care, will now continue to deliver a similar type of work but with more responsibility having stepped up to become Good Shepherd employees.

And both are hugely appreciative of the opportunity that Robert Plant’s support has given them.

“For Robert Plant to even have something like this in his head and give us this opportunity is incredible,” says Donna.

“It feels like he has put his faith in us and has gone back to his roots to give back which is beautiful to see.

“When I think back to my spells as an addict or suffering with depression it felt like there was no hope or way forward, but now, thanks to this opportunity, I have a chance.

“I am also really looking forward to working with Vicky as we work well together and will be able to support each other.”

“I am so grateful and appreciative of this opportunity,” adds Vicky.

“There was a long time when I looked at my history and wondered who on earth would employ me, and wondered if I would ever get another opportunity to work given the stigma attached to problems like addiction.

“We have now been given this chance which others wouldn’t have given us, I am really excited about what lies ahead and am going to put everything I have into it to make it a success.”

Good Shepherd CEO Tom Hayden is delighted to welcome Donna and Vicky into their trainee positions.

“Both Donna and Vicky have delivered excellent work as part of the LEAP programme and put in very strong applications for the trainee roles,” he said.

“This once again highlights how many different benefits there are to LEAP in that volunteers are not just offering help and empathetic support to people accessing the Good Shepherd, but there is also a pathway in place with training and other opportunities that can eventually lead to employment.

“We all congratulate Donna and Vicky on their fantastic progress and wish them every success in their new roles.”

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