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Kirsty was referred to us in August 2014 by social care after they did an Initial Assessment having been called to the home by Kirsty’s parents. Kirsty had become violent towards her mum, had been self harming for over a year, neighbours were complaining about her behaviour and relationships at school and at home had generally broken down.

We saw Kirsty at The Door together with her mum and her dad, who appeared supportive and concerned for their daughter. Kirsty looked at the floor most of the time and seemed in a very ‘dark’ place. She was open about how she felt and that she wanted a mentor to talk to and help her to understand herself.

Kirsty was matched with Elaine in September 2014 – a newly trained young mentor. Matching went well and they agreed to meet one day the following week after Elaine finished work.

At the first review in January 2015 Kirsty and Elaine had developed a good relationship and had been meeting regularly, but not every week. Kirsty was happy that mentoring was helping her, she felt a bit more sure of herself and had stopped self harming. Things were still a bit difficult at home, but she had made a few more friends at school.

Kirsty and Elaine continued to meet every other week in Stroud.  Kirsty’s dad would drive her from home in Dursley to Stroud to meet with Elaine, and would wait as long as required – sometimes about two hours – then drove her home. Kirsty and Elaine often met in a coffee shop for a chat, but sometimes came to the Door to use art space – they liked to make cards, and made their own Christmas cards together.

At the second review in May, Kirsty was almost unrecogniseable. She held herself more upright, her hair had been cut, her eyes shone and she smiled and looked people in the eye. She engaged well, and talked openly about how her life had changed:

“I am more confident, and I make friends more easily. I have more open conversations at home and I have joined more groups outside and in school. I am finding my school work much easier and I can concentrate better. My English grade has gone from a C to an A over three months, and drama has gone from C to B. Mentoring has provided me with the constant support I needed, somebody to talk to and have goals we set which I could achieve and made  me feel proud of  myself”.

Elaine said,

“I don’t feel I have done anything. It was not the mentoring, it was Kirsty herself and her attitude, she became more motivated and determined to change.

Interestingly we learned, Kirsty’s dad had attended at The Door age 16 (around 15 years ago) and had informal mentoring himself. It had helped him so much he was pleased to drive Kirsty to mentoring appointments. Kirsty added that an added bonus was the time she spent in the car with her dad – one to one time she had not had – and the good conversations they had together.

*All names have been changed

Kirsty and Elaine