Dave, 16, had a difficult childhood. He was bullied at school and was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which made it difficult for him to focus on and fulfil tasks at school and at home.
Dave was referred to Face Forward by his parents. They were worried because he didn’t know what to do next after finishing high school a few months ago. They were also highly concerned, as Dave had started to climb buildings, a dangerous practice that could easily end up badly.
When the Face Forward team met Dave, he lacked confidence and self-esteem, and was struggling to make new friends.
Sukie, Face Forward Adviser said: “When we first met Dave, he was not engaging at all. On our first meetings, he wouldn’t make eye contact, he had his hood on during all the session and his arms crossed.”
Throughout several 1:1 sessions, we explained to Dave the risks of climbing buildings on its own and Kyle, Face Forward Apprentice, took him to The Project Climbing Centre in Poole, where he could practice climbing in a safe environment.
Kyle said: “During our sessions with Dave, we worked on social skills and how to engage with other young people. We also talked about his interests and future goals, and offered guidance on his next steps.”
Dave decided to start an Outdoor Activity course at College. He now feels more comfortable when talking to new people and he has made some new friends. In his free time, he goes to the climbing centre. He said: “I now have more confidence and I chat to people more. Sukie and Kyle have been helpful talking to me and taking me out.”
Sukie said: “I’m really happy to see Dave’s progression moving onto his next step, I’m very pleased with the positive outcome. Well done Dave!”
Kyle said: “It has been a pleasure working with Dave and I’m really glad he has managed to get into College and started to make new friends. It’s great to see he is now looking more into his future and planning ahead. Congratulations Dave!”
Note: Names and other identifying elements have been changed to guarantee confidentiality and anonymity.
Face Forward is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund.