1n 2019/20, we ran 66 group mentoring sessions with 311 attendances of young people.
Working with the schools to identify pupils who were not engaging, being disruptive or often being 'on report' meant that the support KA could offer was well focussed. Schools would notice that these young people had issues but they did not have the resources to unpack and address problems. These young people would present with angry outbursts or defiance which would normally have been met with punitive measures, however the root cause often would prove to be anxiety which KA was well placed to tackle.
Another common denominator with these young people was a lack of self-belief and little aspiration. KA was able to work with each individual in a small group setting, to support them to experience success and positive outcomes. The accepting atmosphere that KA created meant that the young people felt they could be themselves.
Negotiating with schools to allow their pupils to take time to work on issues that are not academic in school time is a challenge. Also persuading schools to give the pupils yet another chance when they have made another poor decision is difficult.
It is a challenge to connect with young people who display anti-social behaviour as the usual approaches to encourage mutual respect and positive behaviour fall short of their target. Helping a young person understand the impact of their negative behaviour without them feeling judged can be delicate work.
This year has reinforced that the support for young people entrenched in unhelpful patterns must be more intense and sustained for longer in order to reassure the young people that change is possible. This will inform our offer of provision going forward.
began their Aspire journey on their final warning of permanent exclusion. Their attitude towards learning
was extremely poor, with very low attendance and involvement in many behavioural incidents at school. Before this programme began, E would engage in illegal drug use most nights, would regularly become involved in anti-social behaviour, and was involved in criminal activities as a way of earning money. They had incredibly low aspirations for themselves.
Since the Aspire programme began E has made huge improvements. Their attendance at school has improved immensely and their attitude has changed from advocating a life of crime to wanting to go to college and learn a trade. They complete homework to deadlines and manage their anger outbursts which minimises incidents at school. With encouragement E has developed strategies to cope with anxiety and joined a sports club, both of which have improved E's sleep and obviated the use of drugs. E now has the strength to walk away from negative activities and
situations, even from peers, where previously they did not have the power or inclination.
THE FULL REPORT AND ACCOUNTS
Want to know even more detail? Including the Chairman's comment, how we are funded and how we spend that funding?
Our full report and accounts can be downloaded from the Charities Commission website.