Sophie is a carer for her mum. Her Dad has been absent from her life for over 4 years, her younger brother died when Sophie was only 2 years old and recently her 2 older sisters have left home.
When Sophie began seeing her Pastoral Mentor her attendance at school was poor. She was frequently feeling anxious, low in her mood and was finding day-to-day life challenging and overwhelming. She wasn't eating or sleeping well and had little motivation for school. Her situation was a particular worry as she was in year 11 and due to take her GCSE exams.
The mentoring work began with exploring healthy life choices around diet, exercise, sleep and relaxation away from electronic devices. We created a plan for Sophie to follow and she was successful in improving her sleep and energy levels.
We also discussed the challenges in her home life each week and, despite regular setbacks involving her Dad and run-ins with girls outside school which included some physical fights, Sophie grew in hope and determination to press-on and do her best in year 11.
Exploring positives in her life helped Sophie to see that her Mum and a number of friends were there for her. Gradually she was able to better describe the things that make her anxious – notably ‘the future’ and ‘failing her exams’ and explaining how this made her feel.
The sessions looked at school revision techniques and being more planful with her school work and revision period. With the weekly encouragement and support of her mentor Sophie developed a CV and submitted an application for college. She was really excited when she was invited for interview and her mentoring session considered how she could present the best of herself and her strengths with practical examples.
Sophie said that as a result of mentoring she was more confident, felt able to speak out when she needs help, and became able to see all the positive things about herself and life in general. She is now in a position to achieve her goals in year 11 and improve her life chances by continuing post-16 education at college - something that seemed very unlikely at the onset of the mentoring. Well done Sophie, we are incredibly proud of you and impressed with what you have achieved.
* Image of 'Sophie' - A Model has been used in place of Sophie to protect her identity