Sharing Stories Peace of Mind Blog

Our New COO And Her Favorite Photographs: Helen Leffers

The changes brought about by COVID-19 have left us feeling like we’re at a stand-still. Yet, despite all this waiting, time is moving forward. The way we do things at PeaceLove has had to change in lieu of recent events. However, some of the changes that have taken place over the last month are happy ones we had planned. Last month, our team onboarded our new COO, Helen! I had the chance to interview Helen and today, I’m excited to introduce her to you!

What is your role as a COO? 

My role as COO is to help remove barriers to success at all levels of the organization. I love the challenge of being presented with a problem, and the opportunity to explore solutions that will empower others to succeed.

What brought you to PeaceLove? 

I was drawn to PeaceLove out of a desire to impact change. Having spent part of my career working directly in behavioral health, I am aware of the magnitude of the challenge that lies before us. I strongly believe in collective action, and the power of the PeaceLove community to make a difference. 

Why do you believe in the expressive arts? 

 I love the accessibility of expressive arts and the process of creating. Everyone has creativity within them, regardless of their cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Leveraging creativity as a tool is an incredibly effective way to positively impact a diverse range of people and communities in need.

What’s something that’s giving you peace of mind recently? 

As I settle into working remotely each morning, I have been lighting the most amazing scented candle. It’s called benevolence, and it just smells kind.

What’s something you’re excited for? 

I’m most excited about being surrounded by such a talented team, and inspiring community, as we work to create peace of mind across the globe. The world needs us more than ever, and we are positioned to help.

A fun fact about yourself? 

I rarely watch TV. We do own TVs, and the rest of my family watches TV, but it’s really difficult for me to sit down and get engrossed in a show. I do watch movies occasionally, but I never remember the titles!

It’s been sad for all of us to not be able to welcome Helen in the studio with a big hug, but we are looking for new ways to connect and get to know each other. Something that I’ve been doing a lot of is looking through old photographs. I find comfort in nostalgia. I’ve enjoyed pulling out my mother’s photo albums and having her explain the moments to me. It’s a really unique way to get to know someone. Inspired by that, I’ve asked Helen to share five photographs with us, and tell us why those moments are special to her.

“I was born in England, and lived in a small village called Chiddingfold. One of my favorite childhood memories is of Bonfire Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Night. I remember the excitement leading up to Bonfire Night and watching a team of people build the most humongous bonfire in the middle of the village green. At night, the village would gather for the lighting of the bonfire. My ‘mum’ would always make the best english toffee for us to enjoy while we watched.”

“My family is everything to me. With two young boys, we are always looking for the next adventure. We often venture up to New Hampshire to explore the White Mountains, hiking in the summer and fall, and skiing in the winter. I love how each hike offers a new and unique experience.”
“This picture makes me smile. It captures my children in all of their energetic glory. As a child, the beach always evoked feelings of excitement. We are blessed to have lots of beaches near us in Rhode Island. As an adult, I love taking advantage of the off-season months and enjoying the serenity of a walk or run along the beach.”
“Big Sky, Montana is a very special place. I was introduced to it by my husband’s side of the family, and always look forward to opportunities to share it with my friends and family. The scenery is absolutely stunning in both the winter and summer months, and the sound of silence can be quite striking. Looking at pictures of the scenery can serve as a nice reminder to slow down and appreciate the simple things in life.”
“This is our dog, Luca. We rescued her when she was 4 months old, and she happily joins us on all of our adventures. In general, I love all animals, but I always had a dog growing up. When I was younger, I would repeatedly beg my parents for another dog, because one dog just wasn’t enough. Now, with a family and one dog of my own, I completely understand why my parents’ answer was always a hard no!”
In addition to getting to know Helen, I hope this has made you think about your own photographs. Which pictures tell your story? When you find yourself with a moment, I encourage pulling out the photo album, reflecting, and sharing with a loved one.

Victoria Rose is a writer and musician from Providence, Rhode Island.