The Success of our Young People’s Mentoring Service

Think Pieces

By Basma Aboudihaj · May 26, 2022

To celebrate Child Safety week June 6th – 12th we’ve been highlighting two good news stories from young people who took part in our Young People’s Mentoring Sessions. This service is designed for young people who are no longer in mainstream education, at risk of criminal exploitation, using illicit drugs and alcohol, as well as suffering mentally due to the negative social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Click here to read more about our stance on child safety week 

RO, 16, was not attending school and did not achieve any GCSEs. This impacted him greatly and he felt that he had failed and he could not name anything about himself that he was proud of. RO was struggling with feeling anxious and he had fears around meeting people his age and worried that they would judge him. As a result, RO did not have many friends.

Measured using the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale, at the start of the course, RO’s overall score was 43.1 which was a ‘Moderate’ level of well-being. Ambivalence played a large role in RO’s worries and anxieties. From the first session, RO started to identify his ambivalent thoughts straight away which meant he could practice the skills to change his fears.
During the course, RO began challenging himself by also attending Forest School and re-joining the boxing club.
RO developed a good understanding of comfort zones. His dream is to join the army and make a career in this field, but he realised he needed to challenge his fears if he was to get to college and make it a part of his comfort zone.

At the end of the sessions, RO’s Mental Well-being was measured at 80.8 which is a ‘High’ level of wellbeing. This is a vast improvement from the start of the course and RO was overwhelmed by this and could feel a huge difference in himself since starting the course.
RO was accepted onto The Military Preparation College Wrexham and started his further education. As a result of the course, RO is very focused on his career path and is more determined than ever to succeed. Overall, RO’s confidence, self-esteem, motivation, and wellbeing really improved and this is evident in his current actions.

“It is amazing and I recommend this to anyone else who would like to try and improve on themselves. I have learned how to almost fully control my anger, I have learned about the brain. I have enjoyed learning that I can be more confident in myself.”

GG was not attending school, despite wanting to go, because she had many fears and always thought the worst was going to happen. Measured using the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale, at the start of the course, GG’s overall score was 25.8 which was a ‘Low’ level of well-being.

Due to her many fears, GG explored her ambivalence and how to use transposing and critical thinking skills to overcome it. GG really enjoyed the structural approach of learning about basic brain science as she could really relate to it and the feeling of ambivalence. As well as fears about school, discussing her future prospects, ambitions, and career goals also panicked GG and felt she was unable to think about it.
GG soon identified that she needed to challenge her negative thoughts and feelings and she began to tell herself that she is capable of doing the things she wants to do. Once she identified the negative thoughts she was having, she learned to ignore them and instead focus on her goals and ambitions. As a result of the attitude and behaviour change skills GG had learnt, she identified that her dream job is to be a nurse. Along with her mentor, GG discussed labels and that the label for GG having anxiety is now gone as she challenged it and identified that it is not true.

As the sessions progressed, GG’s change in attitude and behaviour was evident. She started a new theatre school provision and in doing so proved to herself that when she challenges her negative thoughts and moves out of her comfort zone she can succeed. Due to the success of her experience, GG gradually started going back to school which she felt was a great achievement. GG felt incredibly proud of herself for trying new things and going back to school. She has found that challenging herself to try new things is making her happier.
At the end of the sessions, GG’s Mental Wellbeing was measured at 101.2 which is a ‘High’ level of well-being. GG was overwhelmed with this and said she can also see a huge difference in herself since starting the course as she is pushing outside of her comfort zone and is willing to try new things.

“It has helped me a lot because it has given me ideas of how to cope with different things. I now know not to always listen to my midbrain and to try new things. If I want to get somewhere in the future, I need to do things I don’t want to do as I may get something good out of them.”