Paul was 16 and on the periphery of gangs when he was referred onto our mentoring program in September 2012. The program is designed to help young people steer away from the gang lifestyle and support them into employment, education or training as an alternative pathway. He was linked to numerous anti-social behaviour incidents in the local area. Paul is medically diagnosed with ADHD, mild tourettes and autism and often has violent outbursts. His mother also suffers from mild mental health issues. In the past Paul has struggled to maintain any form of education or employment.
Mentoring is a key part of the work we have delivered with Paul and he has met with his mentor each week over the past year. Through these meetings we have been able to build a strong professional relationship with Paul and have worked closely with him using our ‘ONSET’ assessment tool to help him identify areas for development and allow us to monitor his progression.
Due to Paul’s age and background, we felt that re-engaging him in education would be the ideal place to start. Due to his medical conditions he found it very difficult to maintain his concentration for long periods. Several meetings took place to draw up an action plan to allow Paul to receive an education.
All of Paul’s medical conditions initially made it very difficult for him to engage in large groups and often resulted in violent or aggressive outbursts especially when in college. To address this, we encouraged Paul to visit his doctor to assess his medication. This has since been altered and has made a huge difference to his concentration levels.
Several different approaches have been put in place over the last year to try and help with Paul’s anger management. By far, the best approach has been for Paul to attend one on one boxing coaching sessions where he is taught to focus his aggression in a more positive way.
Working closely with Derby College and following his action plan, Paul has successfully completed his entry level Maths and English.
Recently Paul has volunteered for two makeover projects in his local community run by Enthusiasm. He has removed gang related graffiti, cut back hedges, weeded, removed fly tipped rubbish, painted large expanses of sheet metal and cleared pathways. These project locations were transport links that were rarely used due to being overgrown and off putting to local residents.
This project ran over a 3 week period and Paul turned up early every day. He was very committed and often asked to do work when no staff were available to supervise, he was visibly disappointed when we said he couldn’t. Paul contributed more than 50 hours of his time to the project.
Paul has recognised that he would love a job in this field and there is great potential for us to employ him in our new social enterprise.
Due to his hard work and commitment to the project we are recommending him for an apprenticeship with Derby Homes, the local Registered Social Landlord. We are also able to provide him with a reference for future employment.
Recently Paul applied for a job at a local shop using the reference that we provided and he has just learnt that he has been successful.