Chance UK and Women’s Aid Monmouthshire have been working in partnership since 2010.
This is a Chance UK/Women’s Aid Monmouthshire social franchising project based in Abergavenny. The programme provides positive male role models for boys aged 5-11 years who have witnessed or experienced domestic abuse.
Alex was a very troubled and angry boy of 6 when he was first matched up with his mentor Mark. He had already been temporarily excluded from school and he was unable to be in a room with his siblings or other children as his behaviour was very violent. He lived with his father and had very little contact with his mother.
When the mentoring began he quickly started pushing the boundaries by running off and on one occasion physically and verbally attacked Mark. The mentor responded calmly but firmly on each occasion and made an effort to work in a solution focused way with the child. He helped Alex to understand that he had many strengths and good qualities, for example encouraging him with a running challenge and then giving him a medal. He communicated regularly with Dad and helped them both to see Alex as more than just his violent and challenging behaviour.
Alex and his mentor met once a week for a year and there were gradual improvements in Alex’s behaviour at school and at home. By the end of the year the family had been removed from the Child In Need Register and the Head Teacher reported a very significant improvement in Alex’s attendance and behaviour at school. Alex’s father said he is “like a different child”. He now takes him out without being embarrassed about his violence towards other children and has other children to the flat to play.
The mentor also reported a huge improvement to the point where he was able to take him, as a final session, to London for the day on the train:
“I would never have thought I could have trusted Alex to do this safely at the beginning of the year but during the course of a long day I had no problems at all with Alex listening to instructions.”
Overall, Alex’s life has improved dramatically. He has been engaging much more positively at school, is no longer at risk of being excluded, has friends and has a much better relationship with his father and sister. He is able to control his anger and violence on most occasions. He has also had some wonderful time out away from his problems and experienced activities and challenges he would never have been able to without the support from the Chance Mentoring Project at Women’s Aid Monmouthshire.
We’re looking for all types of people who are interested in volunteering to mentor a child. Find out more about becoming a mentor in Abergavenny or apply.
If you’re a professional in Monmouthshire area and would like to know more about the project or make a referral, please contact Alice on 01873 859011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org