Adrian is 16 years old, and was unemployed and not in education when he was referred to Hopeful Families.
Adrian had experienced persistent bullying whilst at school and refused to return to education over 18 months ago. Despite lots of intervention to try and overcome the issues he was experiencing, Adrian became reclusive from the outside world.
At the time, Adrian hid himself away in his bedroom playing on his gaming console. When Hopeful Families first met with him he would often sit with his hood up, said very few words and didn’t make eye contact.
Hopeful Families planned further meetings with Adrian. This was a pivotal point for Adrian as he slowly started to come out of his shell and actively discussed what he wanted to achieve in his future. He wanted to get back into education and improving his health and wellbeing. This informed our bespoke plan to support Adrian.
Adrian continued to attend 1:1 meetings to help rebuild his confidence which had experienced a knock because of the bullying he experienced at school. Once fully enrolled on the programme, Adrian was buddied up with volunteer mentor James, who spent time with Adrian enjoying activities such as walking, squash and badminton, and they built up a great rapport and trusting relationship. James could use this time to encourage Adrian, and help with diet and exercise plans.
Adrian accessed counselling to help him deal with the trauma he faced when bullied, although he found it difficult to talk with a counsellor. After discussions with Adrian, he decided that he felt more at ease talking with his mentor, James, so the decision was made to not use the counselling service.
Adrian began his journey back into education by joining an Arts & Creative Media group on a one day a week basis. This was exactly what Adrian needed to build his confidence and social skills as it was a small classroom environment that was less intimidating. The course covered all aspects of arts and creative media, life skills and confidence building. Adrian created a dream catcher and a poster, and was extremely proud of his accomplishments.
Adrian’s journey was all about small steps. Small, achievable and, most of all, supported steps. Hopeful Families supported him with travel by taxi due to his anxiety and fear of bullies – but his goal was to start using public transport. He slowly started to do this on his journey home and did exceptionally well.
Adrian has now achieved so much with support from Hopeful Families and his involvement with the Princes Trust. Initially, Adrian was extremely reserved about attending the Princes Trust programme but has come on leaps and bounds, even being recognised as the hardest working in a community project, landscaping and designing a sensory garden. Adrian has been supported with a voucher for new clothes and a travel pass which allows him to continue his steps towards independence and a more confident future. He now uses the bus independently to and from his five day a week placement on the Princes Trust programme.
Now Adrian talks with ease, smiles and is thinking more about his future. This is a huge achievement for Adrian and he has expressed significant gratitude to his mentors at Hopeful Families for supporting him on his journey.
“Thank you to Hopeful Families and the Big Lottery. They have given so much hope to Adrian, they have helped him to grow his confidence, and he is slowly starting to believe in himself. Hopeful Families have brought us back together as a family, Adrian is now able to sit in the dining area at home with family members – before Adrian hadn’t been involved with any family activities for almost three years. I can’t thank Hopeful Families enough for giving me my son back”. Lizzy, Adrian’s Mum.
Hopeful Families is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund.