Our Inclusion programmes aim to help improve mental health by cultivating good self-esteem, and finding strategies to cope with anxiety, stress, frustration or anger. In 2018/2019 we held 36 group sessions with 272 attendances of young people and 40 one to one sessions.
Our inclusion work has been supporting young people towards increasing their self-esteem, developing greater emotional resilience in particular reducing anxiety, growing better positive relationships, offering drugs and sex education and improving engagement in education. The impact made can be seen by comparing the Three Crowns evaluation tools from before and after the work done with our young people as well as recorded comments, which clearly imply that these provisions are having a very positive impact upon them.
We continued to work closely with Bohunt and TPS for our inclusion group programmes offering both ReMind (managing anxiety) and S-Teem (improving self-esteem) courses. In the Spring Term we also ran a stress breakers programme supporting year 11s at Bohunt with managing exam stress. We recognise it is important to get the schools to communicate effectively with us to maximise the best results for the young people. Some schools are starting to run their own anxiety and emotional support groups now. Ralph left us in August and Larisa joined us in September (working with Ben) to take over managing our inclusion work.
TPS asked us again to help with specific young people who are on the edge of exclusion and struggling in school. Relationship building with local schools is ongoing and worth the hard work. There is now more openness and improved communication which enables us to be much more effective. Schools are very keen for us to do regular work with vulnerable young people but due to economic constraints they are unable to fund much of it despite it being clear to all that there is a real need. We continue to fundraise as it will allow us to support meeting the needs of a number of vulnerable students who wouldn't otherwise be supported.
We have more meetings arranged with schools to offer a wider range of courses, e.g., drugs, sexual health and school disengagement. This will allow us to respond to more need than just anxiety management. It seems wise to be flexible around working hours going forward so that we can be accommodating to the schools' timetable for inclusion work. A pilot project targeting year 7 and 8's who are at risk of exclusion is an aim for the summer term. With good outcomes and funding permitting it would continue as a programme next year targeting up to 24 students a year across all year groups.
S came to us completely disengaged from
education and from making positive choices in general. In their own words S said that they aspired to be a drug dealer and enjoyed taking part in criminal activity. They also said that school was pointless and didn't economically pay compared to drug dealing or give you 'street cred'. They were predicted level 2's in their GCSE's, however by the end of our sessions work with S, they were predicted 3-4s due to their change in attitude towards the benefits of learning. They have enthusiastically enrolled on to a full-time education course and are very excited about their future. They saw major increases in all of their Three Crowns' results. It has been wonderful to see S grow so much and to alter their future aspirations to a more worthwhile career.