At the time of referral, Freddie was living with his mum, two younger half-siblings and step-dad. He was no longer in contact with his biological father, who had been abusive, and school had concerns that Freddie’s step-dad was also violent. Freddie had faced significant instability, having moved house and schools several times, which impacted on his behaviour.
Freddie was being suspended from school regularly and was at risk of permanent exclusion; he was lashing out, invading people’s personal space and making unkind remarks to other children. Mum was also concerned about his inability to follow instructions and his difficulties with social interactions. His self-esteem and confidence were low and he found it difficult to accept praise, even becoming emotional when given any positive feedback.
Chance UK’s programme team matched Freddie with Annie, an energetic and creative young woman who was able to provide him with lots of problem-free time. She was a positive role model, emotionally strong and disciplined in regards to setting and maintaining boundaries. She was a good match for Freddie because of her own resilience and her ability to cope well with child protection concerns.
Freddie and Annie established a strong relationship very quickly. They discovered they had a similar sense of humour and engaged in lots of fun activities, such as football, drama, trampolining, bowling, art, creative writing and singing. At the three month goal setting meeting, Freddie demonstrated an interest in writing and in business. Annie and Freddie decided to write their own book together, which they would sell to raise money for charity.
Freddie demonstrated during the mentoring that he had the ability to focus for long periods of time. Some of the best sessions he had with his mentor were in the library working on their book.
Freddie learnt to be more self-aware and to remain calm and quiet in the appropriate settings, such as the library and the classroom. He learnt how to keep himself safe when outdoors and how to keep appropriate boundaries with strangers.
Freddie became better at managing his emotions and learnt to give new activities a try, often discovering that he really enjoyed them. Freddie improved his social skills and often demonstrated to his mentor what a kind and thoughtful young man he is.
During the mentoring year, Freddie was able to return to school full time. He was not excluded from school for the whole of Year 6. He completed his SATs and did really well. Freddie is a more confident boy now and has much better social skills and self-awareness.
Quote from mum since having a mentor “he is more mature, has less tantrums, he is calmer, more focused and has better social skills”.