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“The BBO programme has given me the lifeline I needed.”

Leanne is a 21-year-old who has suffered with mental ill health, phobias and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Her time with the Building Better Opportunities program has seen her decrease her levels of anxiousness, increase her self-esteem and give her an idea of future employment.

Leanne Dimmock was initially referred to The Building Better Opportunities Programme because she wanted to further her chances of finding employment – particularly in the area of self-employment.

For years Leanne has suffered with mental ill health and associated phobias. She also experiences OCD. At times, especially when she is stressed, this can be very demanding and exhausting to her health and well-being.

Leanne enrolled onto The Countryside Project to Health and Wellbeing on 17th March 2017, after having a length of time out of paid work as a lifeguard.

Owner of Upper Moreton Rural Activities, Carol Carney, said: “Leanne’s engagement with the course was initially working with animals as she appeared to be very anxious at first amongst people.

“Leanne’s confidence started to grow, progressing from small animal care to handling the project’s Shire horse.

“Surprising over a period of a few months Leanne was beginning to become more talkative and started to support new participants with daily tasks.”

Leanne also began to thrive with art and craft, producing sketches of the farm animals. Her turning point was when she produced a drawing of Leo the project’s therapy dog.

Carol said: “It was so true to life! Since Leanne’s initial sketching she has now progressed to supporting some of the BBO participants with art sessions.

“On one activity, she devised a pastel shading worksheet, from which participants followed practical instruction. Participants learnt how to shade drawings of fruits as part of a still life.”

Her confidence in her artwork led to Leanne producing a watercolour (seen below) which she has had professionally printed and is using as an initial marketing exercise for a business.

Leanne said: “My overall outlook on life has improved massively. I can now use public transport, which I was unable to do before going on the programme, and my confidence and self-esteem are much higher too.

“I am socialising with people and taking part in local arts festivals and events. I am far more positive in my outlook on life and I am considering working for myself, delivering arts and crafts workshops.

“The BBO programme has given me the lifeline I needed. I can’t thank Carol and everyone else involved in the project for their support and guidance.”

Leanne is currently volunteering with Upper Moreton Rural Activities with the view of her getting a job one day per week/or two half days employment as an art and craft instructor. This is hoped to be secured soon.