Story added: 17th January 2024
Connor & Casey's Story
Recently, two of the young people on our Onside programme completed their 12-week intervention with our youth workers, on what has been a challenging yet rewarding journey.
Connor (15) and Casey (13) have been working on a one-to-one basis with our two Onside youth workers, Maya and Scott. Both Connor and Casey were originally referred to Onside to help improve their well-being, control their anger, enhance their future aspirations and ultimately strengthen their relationship as siblings.
At the beginning of his intervention, Connor struggled with expressing his feelings, which resulted in him having to frequently move schools due to regular disruptive episodes in a learning environment. Connor’s behaviour at home was also difficult to control which subsequently had an impact on the whole family. Like her brother, Casey also struggled with her emotions, finding it challenging to vocalise how she was feeling, leading to low attendance at school and anxiety.
Throughout our 12-week programme, the team worked closely with both Connor and Casey on a variety of tasks and topics. Both children were encouraged to explore their feelings and speak openly and honestly about the importance of personal achievements, as well as fears and worries. Our youth workers spent time with Connor and Casey looking at ways to calm down in heightened situations and the importance of reflecting on their behaviour and choices. We used the power of sport, particularly football, to ensure both Connor and Casey reaped the benefits of physical exercise to dispel any unused energy.
The positive impacts were noticeable almost straight away. Casey’s confidence blossomed which saw her school attendance skyrocket. She spent time creating ways to manage anxieties and stress, as well as making sure she checked in on others. Connor was also spending more time back in the classroom and developed strong aspirations to become a bricklayer after the completion of his Onside intervention. Throughout the programme’s duration, the siblings’ relationship with one another continued to improve, with the family noticing a visible change in both children’s behaviour at home.
“Onside has worked wonders for Connor and Casey”, their mum commented. “They are now more confident and open with their feelings and behaviour, and confidence at school has definitely improved. With the guidance from Maya and Scott, I believe they can go on and use what they have learned to thrive.”
Recognising the importance of spending time as a family, we rewarded Connor and Casey’s honesty, perseverance, and resilience with tickets to a Norwich game, which the whole family enjoyed together.
Looking ahead to the future, Maya and Scott are hoping that Casey will join a local girls’ football team to continue to look after her physical and mental well-being and growth. Supported by our Onside exit pathway, the team are keen to get Connor involved in volunteering and work experience opportunities at the Nest to broaden his career aspirations and to give him something positive and engaging to do post-education.
All of our Onside team are extremely proud of Connor and Casey’s progress and can’t wait to see them continue to grow and prosper as young adults.
To find out more about our Onside programme, click here.