Sam had refused to go to school previously and home feels like his ‘safe space.’ Sam was also overweight and very inactive. The school wanted Youth Work support to help the young person talk through his school anxieties, health issues and other barriers without feeling judged.

Sam’s school referred him to Creative Youth Network, the reasons for the referral were varied; the YP struggled in school generally and being out of school for so long due to COVID has exacerbated this.

When I first met my youth worker, he made me feel relaxed and safe. He was listened to my interests and invited me to join the Young Men’s Group.

Joining the group was amazing, it gave me the opportunity to meet other people my age in similar situations. At first, I was nervous but quickly we became friends. I became more and more confident around them; I also joined the Lockleaze Open Access sessions to hang out with them more.

By joining the group, I got to play my favourite sports which made exercise fun. My youth worker has even helped me sign up to my local rugby club which has helped me become healthier and learn how to socialise again. In Young Men’s Group and Lockleaze OA, I learned how to cook, which has helped me live a healthier lifestyle and stop eating junk food. I have learned to have a better relationship with food, and no longer binge eat when I am feeling upset.

 Youth work support has helped me to build my confidence and to learn new skills that have helped me to become more independent and aid both my mental and physical wellbeing. Weekly 1-1 sessions with my youth worker have allowed me to have someone to speak to and to chat to someone about different worries and challenges I face. I have really enjoyed playing rugby and cooking with my youth worker. My youth worker has helped me to think about my future and visiting Aston Martin was a real highlight. I have taken part in a number of Creative Youth Network trips and my attendance and sense of worth at school has increased meaning I feel more hopeful for my future.

Sam’s school felt that he was at risk of ending up NEET (not in education, employment, or training) before the referral. Sam and his youth worker spent some time exploring options for when he finishes school, apprenticeships, and careers. Sam expressed an interest in car mechanics, so the youth worker organised a tour of the local Aston Martin branch.

Currently Sam in a much better place. His school attendance has improved, and he has increased his interaction with peers through attending school regularly and becoming an attendee at Lockleaze and Young Men’s Group. He has lost weight and is regularly exercising. School have told his youth worker that there has been a definite improvement in his anxiety levels at school and he generally seems happier. The school have asked the youth worker to extend the 1-2-1 support which has been agreed. The school have also initiated an assessment for ADHD.  

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