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  • Writer's pictureClare Jerrom

Case study: How mentoring improves confidence and self-esteem

When Troy, 17, was referred to Wipers' Youth Specialist Mentoring Programme, there were concerns around potential radicalisation after Troy and a peer imitated the death of George Floyd. There were concerns around Troy's use of social media and his views.

Troy's parents were divorced and he lived with his mother. He was referred to the mentoring programme in a bid to engage Troy with positive activities, given the concerns around radicalisation.

The referral requested a specialist mentor to support Troy in engaging with new opportunities through extracurriculars to make positive choices around his behaviour.

Initially, the mentor observed Troy struggle socially around people from Black communities and was displaying symptoms of anxiety.

However, Troy consistently attended mentoring sessions and engaged with activities including a boxing group session where he impressed the instructors with his perseverance.

He regularly attended their local youth club for access to the gym and received support from the personal trainer on-site. While there, Troy also enjoyed playing chess with other young people.

Along with his mentor, Troy attended another youth centre, for a tour and he enjoyed teaching staff and other attendees how to play cards.

Troy attended two Rise and Reach Taster days where he worked well with other young people onsite and even went on to exchange contact details with another attendee. Wipers' Rise and Reach programme enables young people to gain work experience and practical knowledge within a variety of industries.

At Stepney City Farm, Troy helped to build an outdoor school and was pro-active in helping design the outdoor school and taking measurements to order equipment for the project.

When he attended Pinpoint Bike Mechanics, he interacted well with the facilitators and would often ask questions to learn and expand his knowledge.

The mentor observed that Troy would often be quiet and take time to observe his surroundings and everyone within it.

While expressing strong political views, Troy is open to hear the views of others. The mentor was able to challenge his views through conversations and Troy enjoys a debate and has excellent skills in communication and understanding.

Troy's mentor said: "In all the challenges that have been presented to Troy through mentoring, he has excelled and grown in confidence."

More about Wipers' Youth Mentoring Service here and the Rise & Reach Workshops here.

*Not their real name

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