These are a few examples of some of South Central Youth’s success stories. Now that the organisation has been working with clients for a number of years, the transition and development is clearly prominent. Names have been changed to protect the clients.
Michael is a young person who experiences mental health problems after being in a car accident as a child. His learning difficulties leave him often frustrated and aggressive. For these reasons he became excluded from education, started getting involved in gang activity and carrying a knife.
He met 2 detached workers from SCY when he was out on the estate; the workers explained how SCY could support him. He told me that SCY has changed his life, if the workers had not approached him that day he could be dead. The staff have worked tirelessly with his family to help the young person get identity documents, apply for job seekers allowance, get onto a course learning how to work in the printing industry.
SCY have supported him with emotional development, communication skills, anger management, personal boundaries, self-esteem, confidence, counselling. SCY are now working with the council special needs department to get this young person’s mental health and education level evaluated.
Alice is a young person who presented with a comprehensive array of problems this year. She presented with anger management and communication issues, she had been expelled from college, was isolated from her peers, she had taken up with an abusive boyfriend who regularly beat her, estranged from her family and had been made homeless several months previously. She was reportedly being abusive to her probation officer.
A concerned friend introduced Alice to our service. An SCY mentor worked very intensively to help Alice become aware of her confrontation and aggressive communication style. Once Alice understood about actions and consequences, she worked closely with her mentor to adapt her language and confrontational style. Alice was able to avoid being breached by her probation officer and she was able to re-engage in college. The mentor also helped Alice to understand how healthy relationships do not involve violence or abuse. SCY then supported Alice to attend a specialist resource for female victims of domestic violence.
Alice was able to leave the relationship with her mentor’s help and secure a new flat. She is so grateful for the help of her mentor and is such a different person now that she feels safe and secure.
Jamie first requested mentoring help from SCY after there were two deaths in his family. Jamie is 12 years old, his eight year old cousin was run over and died and a twenty-one year old cousin was stabbed and murdered. Jamie was very distressed and cried when he first requested a mentor.
He explained that he got into trouble at school by fighting and he also hit a teacher. The school told Jamie that he had ADHD and needed anger management. Jamie then ran away after being in trouble again at school, this time for stealing. SCY established a tailor made package for Jamie with counselling-on-demand, consequential thinking, anger management, clear boundaries, rules and consequences, which his parent also integrated at home. With our support Jamie was able to deal with his grief, recognise his anger triggers and subsequently returned to school and there have been no further incidents of violence.
Joshua (aged 18)
Joshua was not attending school because he had been attacked a number of times because of the area that he came from. The school tried to protect him by giving him a police escort in and out of school.
Joshua felt very vulnerable and it came to a point after a number of weeks, where the school said that they no longer could guarantee his safety on the premises. Joshua started to hang around on the streets and started to get into trouble. When Joshua disclosed the situation to his mentor, SCY took immediate action to intervene, by providing day to day activities, mentoring and education support. The SCY mentor, met with the family and arranged a meeting with the school the following day. Together they were able to organise a transfer to a school in Croydon.
Joshua was able to successfully complete his year 11, he received A* in chemistry, physics, maths and biology. He secured a place at college to do his A levels in and now has a place at university doing a physics and chemistry degree. Had SCY not intervened, this young person’s life would have been very different.
Melanie (aged 16)
Mel was continually receiving exclusions in school due to temper, attitude and behaviour. Mel spoke to her SCY mentor and stated how unhappy she was and that she kept getting into trouble.
SCY placed Mel on an internal education programme that targeting young people’s attitude and fear of academic learning and taught them skills how to process classroom instructions and manage their behaviours in class. The programme greatly improved Mel’s self-confidence and understanding of classroom expectations on both sides. She was able to learn how to communicate her difficulties, instead of through temper and attitude, she developed the confidence to be able to explain and communicate her issue in a pro-social way.
The mentor worked closely with the school, attended school reviews with the parent and Mel. In year 9, Mel worked with her mentor and school around the best options for year 10 and 11. The SCY mentor with Mel was able to attend college option days and helped Mel to secure a place on a Cooking course at college. Mel is now performing well in her education lessons and enjoying school for the first time.
Daniel (aged 18)
Daniel was imprisoned for being part of a group fight. SCY supported him through the trial and period of imprisonment. Daniel was devastated, his family withdrew contact and left him 4 months. Upon his release, Daniel was adamant that he needed to turn his life around for himself and his family. He had fully been able to process the consequences of crime and his responsibility.
Daniel spent many hours with his SCY mentor setting realistic goals for his future, also helping Daniel to rebuild relationships with his family, attend his appointments with the probation agencies. Daniel was able to secure a place at college doing business, with the support of his mentor, he was able to move out of the area, stay focused on his goals and has just started university undertaking a undergraduate degree in Business.
Michael (aged 14)
Michael was a recent victim of a shooting. SCY staff supported him in hospital as he did not have a carer able to support him at the time. Staff attended daily to provide emotional support, counselling and consistency (always there), we provided practical help regarding clothing, food, phone access, books and initially just personal support.
Over the years SCY have supported this young person’s transition into care, back into school and helping him with the long climb back to emotional and psychological wellbeing. He is currently stable and doing well.
Simeon (aged 12)
Several older young people were reporting to the SCY staff that Simeon was always on the streets late at night. Staff found him playing on a pile of rubbish (aged 8 at the time) during a school day in the rain.
SCY staff immediately worked alongside the NSPCC and Social Services to establish intervention and support for this young person. SCY staff helped Simeon to feel accepted in the community and get help to reduce the level of neglect in the home. SCY were also able to support social services around the social development and social education aspects that many young people receive at home. Staff taught Simeon how to tell the time, how to count, how to care about himself and other people.
He now attends a special needs secondary school and is very happy there. His family remain receiving support from social services.