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Case 1

YP 15 referred by parent. February 2020. High anxiety, social withdrawal, adopted- early years trauma, history of depression and suicide ideation, not attending school, lonely. Mentor met YP at home and had relationship building chats and explored YP’s interests including art and gaming. Mentor took her dog to support YP’s management of new relationship and anxiety. YP and mentor maintained virtual contact through first lockdown, mentor sent craft project and lockdown contact included playing game through video platform, coaching informed chat around anxiety and managing lockdown. Mentor identified AQA dog training learning unit and provided materials and worked on this with YP using video resources. Mentor gently persisted with maintaining an interest in YP’s life. When appropriate, mentor invited YP to socially distanced walk and talk with dog- YP was anxious and hadn’t been out of house in weeks but was given reassurance that anxiety support plan was in place and that she could request return to home at any time, YP managed whole hour. Relationship continued and YP grew in confidence, maintaining and re-connecting with new and old friendships. Dog walks and meet ups were repeated and PYO facilitated attendance at a make up class at Brighton Make up School, in line with YP’s interest. Attending a class was a big deal involving leaving the house for more than hour, meeting a new adult, engaging with a learning session, being in an unknown space- the YP experienced some high anxiety but with support managed the whole day and was able to not only receive a certificate but experience a powerful sense of achievement. The YP also went on to complete her AQA unit in dog training. The young person’s best hopes were;

· To develop social confidence

· To feel more confident and clear about future Her early scores on these were low and she scored significantly higher after PYO intervention moving up to 4.5/5.

Case 2

K- 16 referred by parent. High anxiety, social withdrawal, communication SEN. December 2019. Mentoring relationship built up through consistent weekly contact. Sessions have included; -walk and talks in parks and local area -support to attend forestry sessions in her community, meet other young people, engage with activities and learn new skills. K very anxious initially, important that she was picked up and accompanied and could be introduced to session leader. K was given the option to leave whenever she was ready. Mentor made ongoing discrete assessment throughout session and stepped back when K was more confident- she was able to engage completely with the session and the other participants. She returned to mentor now and again, but otherwise wanted to remain the whole session- 3 hours. Attended twice before lockdown and as fitted with her college timetable. - support to attend girls football in her community. Again, very anxious and the pick up and accompaniment very important to her, along with introductions and option to leave when ready. K stayed for full sessions and attended multiple times with mentor pre lockdown. She built relationships with other girls in her community and mentor helped her think about issues through coaching informed chat. Mentor gently built K’s confidence by suggesting that she meet her there rather than be collected, which K became able to do, and then also to start class on her own with mentor joining later, enabling K to develop her confidence. - supported to attend small sewing class on a weekly basis. K met mentor for pre-class drink and catch up chat and was then accompanied in class. K attended multiple times pre lockdown and completed a personalised upcycling project and developed positive social skills with other young people and tutor. - During lockdown K and mentor had multiple video calls, the mentor has been able to offer coaching informed chat about managing friendships and expectations, managing anxiety, boundaries and safeguarding input around boyfriend’s mental health, encouraging new interests, being a listening ear, supporting school work, inviting K to be a part of an online peer support group, supporting anxieties around lockdown, advising around healthy eating and taken a consistent active interest in her life. When appropriate K and mentor resumed face to face sessions with socially distanced, outside walk and talk sessions. K got a sewing machine and is following on from her sewing sessions. K has also been engaging with photography of nature and flowers as shared with her in the forestry sessions. An end scaling question around reduced anxiety and increased happiness was scored at 9/10. K has gone on to finish college, find work and experience much increased confidence.

Case 3

S – 17 referred by parent. High anxiety, social withdrawal, previously missed 2 years of school, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). January 2020 S and mentor had multiple regular meets in coffee shop, building up a mentor relationship and identifying and actioning how S would like to be supported. Mentor supported S through coaching informed chat to think about more confident but comfortable interaction with existing and potential friends, explored interests and life balance with activity and fatigue. S became more confident in initiating friendship interactions, mentor discussed with him places to go and researched activities and places that would expand his horizons whilst being mindful of his needs. Mentor took S to look around a gaming emporium as a potential place to go with a friend, showing him the directions and going in the venue and checking out how it operated supporting S to feel more confident. During the coffee sessions, S reported increased confidence and initiative talking with friends and taking them to places that he and mentor had explored. Also discussed S managing fatigue now at college. In February, mentor managed to secure a place for S on 2 day Computer game design and VR and AR course through the Widening Participation team at Brighton University. Mentor discussed with S that it was OK for him to manage as much as he could around fatigue and offered to take him and show him where to go. S completed the 2 whole days and was very pleased with the course and made a new friend. At a review meeting S demonstrated an improvement in his scores for ‘feeling optimistic about the future’ ‘feeling interested in other people’ ‘interested in new things’. S and mentor continued to meet in coffee shop and discussed best ways to develop S’ physical wellbeing with his CFS and regular gaming. Mentor had researched that yoga was helpful for CFS. S agreed to come and watch a yoga session which mentor participated in, S stayed for duration of session. During lockdown S and mentor kept in touch virtually, checking in on S wellbeing and sent information and access to online yoga and short online computing related courses. When appropriate had socially distanced walk and talk and discussed what he could learn about what was working for him in lockdown and could be applied afterwards. S has maintained new social confidence and had cycle rides with friend and tried out online yoga. S has gone on to finish school and maintain this higher level of confidence enabling him to live the life he wants.

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