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  • Writer's pictureClare Jerrom

Case Study: Leon

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

Leon* was referred to Wipers as he was not engaged in education or training, he experienced learning needs and had very little motivation or enthusiasm for what he wanted to do with his life. Lacking any kind of education, training or employment opportunities meant he had no structure, and having few interests and lacking ambition made him susceptible to getting involved with criminal activity, gangs and negative life choices.

Without a positive male role model at home, Leon needed guidance and support to help motivate him and expose him to positive life experiences.

Leon was happy to engage with the Wipers' mentor. While his caseworker had experienced difficulties getting Leon's phone number from him, Leon was happy to share it with the Wipers' mentor straight away, demonstrating trust from early on in the relationship.

During the mentoring sessions, Leon was punctual and proactive and the discussions between Leon and his mentor tended to focus on Leon being able to develop a skill that he could use later in life.

The mentor suggested that Leon attended a Rise and Reach workshop, which provides young people with work experience, enabling them to gain practical knowledge in a range of industries.

Leon attended the Rise and Reach Workshop with KeyWest Plastering, at first attending the taster day session in April and going on to complete a two-day course in May.

The facilitators of the workshop were impressed with Leon's natural ability and asked him several times if he had done plastering before. The facilitators reported that Leon is "confident not arrogant" and willing to complete the tasks set for him.

Kevin Campbell, Deputy Manager of Wipers, said: "We work with a lot of young people who often just need some encouragement and someone to show them positive life choices, whether that is employment, training or education opportunities, tapping into a hobby or interest or accessing services."

"Each young person is referred to us with different backgrounds, challenges and requirements and we work closely with other services involved with the young person to create a tailored package of support."

"Often young people just need a trusted adult, someone to look out for them, to 'have their back', to assist them with direction and motivation and to support them to do things such as produce a CV or apply for a job."

"Mentoring, very often, can make all the difference in deterring young people from criminal or dangerous activities - which they may feel is their only option - to reach their full potential," added Kevin. Find out more about our mentoring services here.

*Not their real name

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