Jaden's Story

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Jaden’s school asked for him to receive mentoring when his behaviour in school changed and he described himself as angry and struggling with feelings about his dad, whom he’d not seen for 3 years.

What became clear through the mentoring sessions was that Jaden was angry and upset that he had not seen his Nan (his dad’s mum) since his dad had left. He missed her deeply and sessions helped him to let his mum know and ask her to speak with his Nan about this. His Nan was able to visit him and it made a very positive difference to Jaden to know that his Nan still cared about him.

The mentoring supported Jaden to keep in contact with his Nan and he wrote a beautiful card for Nan in one session that helped him to connect and express his feelings.

Jaden’s teachers reported that after his mentoring sessions Jaden appeared very visibly more relaxed and less agitated.

By the time his mentoring concluded Jaden was no longer walking out or getting sent out of class for disrupting lessons. He said that he was hopeful about his future and thought that he could now do well at school.

* Image of 'Jaden' - A Model has been used in place of Jaden to protect his identity

Mark's Story

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Mark’s brother took his own life at the beginning of the month we were asked to support him.

At the beginning of mentoring he identified himself and his family as being in shock at what had happened. His YP-Core measure of emotional distress was a high 38 out of 40 and he described himself as feeling very sad and low in his mood. He didn’t feel able to speak with his parents about how he was feeling because he did not want to worry or upset them.

After a few sessions he did speak with another of his family members but said more than once over the 12 months of our weekly work that he really felt that the mentoring sessions were the only place he could use to talk about how he was thinking and feeling.

12 months later Mark’s YP-Core measure of emotional distress had reduced to 04 and he agreed that mentoring was no longer needed, although he wanted to be seen once each term so that if he began to struggle again he could easily access the support. He described himself as having been really glad that the mentoring was there for him and said he had been able “to move forward on a positive, upward line’ as a result.”

* Image of 'Mark' - A Model has been used in place of Mark to protect his identity

Sophie's Story

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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, 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 revision techniques for her exams and 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

Kieran's Story

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After his parents separated, 12 year-old Kieran had been getting into trouble in school and at home his anger had led to him breaking a door off its hinges and fighting with his brother. In mentoring sessions Kieran spent time learning how the anger that people see can be anger at things they don’t see. He was given the space to talk about the things he felt angry about, and help to try and express his feelings constructively rather than exploding.

After several sessions, Kieran reported that a system he was using to let his brother know when he was getting annoyed was working so well that his mum had increased his pocket money and they’d gone to the cinema together as a treat. After several more sessions, Kieran was made an Ambassador for his school in recognition of the positive change in his behaviour and the good example he was to others.

Kieran’s feedback at the end of his sessions was that his Pastoral Mentor had helped him learn about his feelings and how to be in control of his anger.

* Image of 'Kieran' - A Model has been used in place of Kieran to protect his identity

Tia's Story

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When she began to attend mentoring sessions,14 year-old Tia had been feeling very low for over a year since her grandmother had died. Her parents were particularly concerned that she spent her evenings and weekends in her bedroom and avoided spending time with them or her sister. Tia had also previously harmed herself by cutting her arms.

After several mentoring sessions completing activities to build Tia’s self-esteem and encourage her to express her feelings through journaling and drawing,

Tia’s confidence had built so that she was willing to talk to other young people at school that she didn’t know, and also volunteered to get involved in a project advocating for young people at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. She said that, “being able to talk to my Pastoral Mentor and journal has made me feel less isolated and stressed, so I don’t need to cut now.”

Her mum phoned THIS WAY UP to say that they had had a lovely holiday where Tia had seemed to be a part of the family again. Tia’s transformation was also been talked about by her teachers.

* Image of 'Tia' - A Model has been used in place of Tia to protect her identity

John's Story

15 year-old John came to mentoring sessions 2 weeks after his dad had died unexpectedly after an epileptic fit. He used the space to talk about the funeral and process his different feelings. He enjoyed making a memory book to commemorate and remember his dad, and said that “the mentoring sessions have helped me take time out to let out all my thoughts so I can carry on with other things the rest of the time.” After a few months John said he didn’t need to come anymore, but said he would want to see a Pastoral Mentor if he felt he needed to in the future.

* Image of 'John' - A Model has been used in place of John to protect his identity

Kitan's Story

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14 year-old Kitan came to mentoring sessions very anxious about the prospect of her mock exams occurring around the anniversary date of her dad’s death.

She had never talked about her dad’s death before but was given the space to do this with her Mentor and to make a memory jar to commemorate him.

At the end of her sessions she said that she felt much happier than at the start. She said “I’m able to see the positives in life and can focus in lessons for the exams.”

* Image of 'Kitan' - A Model has been used in place of Kitan to protect her identity