Our £60,000 grant supports a mentoring scheme for young people at risk of exclusion and crime in Tower Hamlets
Amy has had a difficult start to her life, and this often made it difficult for her to trust people. But with patience and perseverance, Amy finally trusts her XL-Mentor and is beginning to focus on her future.
Amy grew up with a foster family from a young age as she had suffered abuse as a child. For many years she was content with her new family situation, but as she started to approach her teenage years, their relationship became increasingly strained. Amy was refusing to follow instructions and was even found to be stealing from them. Just before she was referred to XL-Mentoring, Amy had started running away from home, which meant her foster parents were forced to report her missing. At school she was barely attending.
Luckily Amy’s school saw her potential and referred Amy to XL-Mentoring – a LandAid-supported project run by the urban youth charity XLP, which matches young people who are struggling with trained mentors who can support them outside of the school and home environment.
It took Amy a while to warm to her mentor- but as time went on she realised that her mentor was there to help her. They’d meet regularly in local cafes or the park to discuss Amy’s life. In particular her mentor helped her to realise the importance of going to school and getting an education.
Her mentor also helped Amy to access youth work activities in her local area (including XLP’s community bus project on her estate), as a means of developing better friendships with other young people – something she had previously found challenging. The encouragement and support from her mentor has given Amy a new found self-confidence and has provided her with a foundation from which to begin to fulfil her potential.
Now Amy is much happier in all areas of her life. She has become more mature and stable, and her school attendance has improved considerably. She is much more respectful towards her foster family and enjoys a far healthier relationship with them, which has reduced the risk of her running away and becoming homeless. Amy’s career aspiration is to one day train as an accountant and she is determined to work hard at school to make this a reality.