Specialist, continuous, one to one youth careers support delivers positive change

Specialist, continuous, one to one youth careers support delivers positive change

Sadie White No Comment

James, 18, had experienced multiple barriers to progression at school including undiagnosed dyslexia and lack of confidence and after a bad experience with his peer group had fully withdrawn, hardly ever leaving the house. With low self-esteem and difficulties managing anger, his relationship with his Mum also started to deteriorate. James’ prospects for a positive future were looking slim until he was referred to Sheffield Futures and Lucy, targeted youth support worker started to visit James at home.

Over the course of months and persistent visits to James, Lucy began to build a positive and trusting relationship. After getting to know him and his interests Lucy was able to encourage him to engage in activities outside the home to build his confidence and broaden his experience. ‘He had expressed an interest in Basketball so I engaged with the Sharks and with a local team with regards to him getting involved in playing – this had a great motivational effect. It took a lot of persistence getting James to attend and I could see it was starting to pay off as his confidence was starting to build.’ Says Lucy.

After initial success on a course with a sports provider, James progressed to another programme but unfortunately this broke down due to an incident with a member of staff. ‘I spoke honestly and frankly to James after this incident and James learnt quickly from the experience and moved forward in a mature way.’ Lucy says.

‘We moved James to another provider but this time James showed self-awareness of his difficulties managing anger and talked about the strategies he would put in place to manage them. Giving James the tools and strategies to manage his feelings worked and James is now training with this organisation.’ She continues.

James is now on a study programme doing very well and enjoying the programme. He is working towards GCSE level Maths and English which is a major achievement. He’s feeling much more positive in himself and engaging in positive relationships with a wider range of young people and adults. With a better relationship with Mum, he’s looking towards future goals with raised self-esteem and an ability to communicate more effectively. As a result of the positive experience James is having, his Mum is also studying towards her GCSE Maths and English which has raised the aspirations of the family as a whole.

‘It’s fantastic to see how far James has come on his journey towards a more positive future. Building a positive, supportive and trusting relationship with young people and their families over a period of time has so many benefits. If things don’t go right first time – as they often don’t- having that continuity of relationship means that you’re better able to help the young person jump the next hurdle in their journey as you know the history. It’s never easy to get back on track and achieve and having a trusted support that understands all the issues to provide the strategies and tools for managing negative feelings is invaluable for a young person experiencing difficulties.’ Lucy says.

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