Charlie was referred to the Engage Project when he was in year 10. He had been excluded from school due to issues of bullying, truancy and violence.
When Charlie started with us, he was defiant and argumentative. He disobeyed instruction and was reluctant to listen to anything staff had to say. We realised early on that the first step was to tackle Charlie’s perception that his situation was everyone else’s fault.
We started one-to-one mentoring to help Charlie understand how his choices were affecting his life and other people. We included his mum in some meetings so that she could work with us to help Charlie move forward. We wanted Charlie to see what needed change for him to access education again.
After a few weeks, Charlie’s view of the situation started to change. As his relationship with staff members improved, so did his attitude and behaviour. He began to respect us and showed a desire to change. We were eventually able to slowly reintroduce Charlie to group sessions where he began to enjoy participating.
Charlie is now completely different to the boy we met at the beginning of the project. By the end of his time with us, he engaged so positively. He began to listen to advice and work on aspects of his behaviour that still needed to be improved. Charlie often came in early or stayed late to chat with us. Sometimes he would still get upset, but he was now able to articulate how he was feeling so that these emotions did not escalate.
Charlie is now at college and aims to take a construction apprenticeship. We still see him weekly as he transitions to this next stage – we hope this will help Charlie see how much we value him and will help him succeed.