Ben is now on his third year of the Learning To Lead programme. On meeting Ben it was immediately evident he needed a boost to his self-confidence. Ben was unable to make eye contact or talk at all on the first meeting but did have a smile on his face when he realised how lucky he was to be chosen.

Ben comes from a family of boys, his older brothers are well known to the local police and Ben seemed to find it hard to trust unknown adults. In the first few activities Ben kept himself to himself, avoiding mixing with his peers and avoiding chatting to new adults. He largely stayed with the school teaching assistant who attended. The first time we noticed Ben show excitement was at a theatre visit where he giggled throughout and came away from the experience beaming. At the following memory book/mentoring session he was able to tell us what he found funny and seemed keen to find out what we would do on our next activity. At our family harbour visit Ben brought his mum and on the boat they were happily chatting and really enjoyed the time together. His mum commented on how special it was to have one to one time with her son. Since then he has grown in confidence and surprised his teachers with how well he now engages on activities.

He can now ask questions, talk more openly and even try new things like BMX biking that pushed his resilience. His teachers tell us; “Bens confidence is unrecognisable now, his confidence in the classroom environment is the best it has ever been and he now interacts far more with other children. He is managing to maintain good attendance now as well. Learning To Lead has really benefitted him