Case Study 1
Nathan is a 16 years old male, from a broken home who was referred by school for several reasons, including a distinct lack of motivation, and limited engagement. There was also suspicion that Nathan was using cannabis. The hope was that at the end of the programme, he would have increased motivation; achieve well in exams and set realistic goals for his future.
At the beginning of the programme Nathan’s complete lack of motivation meant that he “just couldn’t be bothered” with school. He was apathetic and couldn’t see why he should be considering his future at this stage in his life. Despite several attempts by school to engage him, Nathan was becoming more and more disengaged and school’s worry was that he wasn’t going to fulfil his potential which was A-C grades across the curriculum.
Through a series of 1:1 sessions and group activities Nathan has steadily improved both his attendance and his engagement with education and he said that “it has made me want to achieve things more instead of just not being bothered.”
Nathan has applied to college to do catering and his aspirations are to qualify as a chef and to someday own his own restaurant. He has now started to stay behind at the end of the school day, on a daily basis to attend revision and catch up classes in subjects that he was extremely behind in. During one of our sessions he said “I’ve stayed behind every day and now I’m up to date with my English assignments!”
His whole manner gradually changed as he realised that engaging would make things easier for him. He has started enjoying school and is quickly getting back to his target grades.
Nathan has enjoyed the group activities; interacting well with his peer group after some initial shyness, and tells me that he has “got loads out of it!” Nathan now appreciates the need to set goals and says he is feeling much more positive about the future.
Case Study 2
Kailey is a 16 year old girl who comes from a broken home and has a history of mental health issues. Kailey lacked motivation with her school work and also struggled with relationship and emotional issues.
Kailey has recently been diagnosed with Psychosis, and is struggling emotionally with family dynamics and the effects of the medication she takes for her psychosis. Kailey has a history of self-harming and was doing so on a regular basis when the worker first met her.
The factors affecting her emotional life have impacted on her performance and attendance at school and the hope is that her self-esteem, confidence and motivation will improve, and that she has aspirations for the future.
Kailey scored extremely low – 3/10 on the ‘Confidence’ and ‘Ability to Control Emotions’ parts of the outcome star and expressed a need to “feel better about herself.”
She told me that self-harming was dominating her thoughts and that her CAMHS worker and counsellor weren’t addressing this issue because they were concentrating on the psychosis and managing that. I suggested to Kailey that she use an elastic band around her wrist as a distraction, and supplied her with bands. Since she has had the bands she has had only 2 minor episodes of self-harming where previously she was doing it on a daily basis, she said on her feedback sheet “Ged gave me elastic bands to help me stop self -harming and it’s worked for me,” this in turn has resulted in her having increased confidence and a more positive perception of herself. The driving lesson experience has made her want to do well in school so she has a better chance of achieving her wish to own a car.
We completed the outcomes star at the end of the programme and both her ‘Confidence’ and ‘Ability to control emotions’ had increased significantly going from 3/10 which she scored at the start of the programme to 7/10 which she scored at the end of the programme. This validates the work we are doing and shows that with consistent support we can make a difference to the lives of YP who previously had no aspirations or self-belief.
New Youth Group
We have recently formed a Youth Group for young people who have engaged with us on the TNT project and the Children in Need course. The young people meet at the Life Skills Academy building on a Wednesday Evening 4-6pm, where they engage in a variety of activities both on and off site. The first session was a “getting to know you” session and the young people were asked to come up with a unique name for their group. The name they came up with is “ ROOM 19” which is the number of the property we have recently moved in to. It is anticipated that the group will grow and we are looking for volunteers to be part of this dynamic group.
As part of the TNT programme we combined the final activity with our celebration event. The activity was a racing car simulator competition. The young people engaged really well and got into a healthy competitive spirit, supporting each member of their team. The day was broken up with our celebratory lunch which was a buffet provided by outside caterers which made it more special for them as many of them had never experienced being “catered” for. Once the competition was over we had a presentation for the young people, during which they all received certificates for completing the programme and for participating in the racing event. They absolutely loved it and all left with a renewed sense of pride.
One of the activities we engage in as part of the TNT programme is a Graffiti Workshop. This has proved to be extremely popular with all the young people who have taken part, and it gives them an opportunity to express themselves in a manner which they may not have considered previously. Graffiti is commonly thought of as an illegal form of art, but we show the young people that in the right environment it can lead to a positive career and encourages the young people to be creative in a much more relaxed atmosphere.