“Hi I’m Maddy, I’m 14 and I go to school in Stroud.
A few months ago I started to have some problems at school – I was finding it hard to focus and feeling really tired. I’d missed some days because of how tired I was and my work was suffering. One of my teachers noticed so she spoke to me and suggested I might benefit from having a mentor. At first I didn’t really understand what that was but when they explained I thought it sounded really helpful.
Debbie from The Door comes into school every week and spends time meeting with different students. She’s really lovely and caring, and I know that whatever I say to her is confidential – even though the school set up the mentoring, I can be really honest about everything and I get to chose what she shares with my teachers.
Debbie helped me to talk about what was going on – my family had been receiving some racist abuse, and I’d stupidly watched some really scary movies and stuff. I was getting scared at home – I didn’t like being left at home alone and I wasn’t sleeping because I was worrying about the door’s not being locked. This made me really tired, and then I was getting behind with my work and that was making me stressed.
With Debbie’s help, I was able to identify the triggers and learn some coping mechanisms. We came up with some positive statements like “I can be anxious and still deal with this” which helped me get through difficult times.
She also made me realise that I needed to have fun as well as do work – getting some exercise and singing in the church choir makes me feel so much better and de-stresses me. I’m getting loads more sleep now which means I’m less tired and can function better at school.
Having mentoring with Debbie meant I found the root of the problem and exterminated it, I realise I am stronger than I believed I was. I’m really looking forward to the future and what that might bring for me now.”
Debbie mentors students in both Archway and Stroud High, building on the excellent relationships we have with the pastoral teams in both schools. Young people like Maddy who don’t go to these schools can be referred into our general mentoring programme which operates using volunteers outside of school hours.
A £10 donation will ensure that every young person like Maddy can get the support from a mentor like Debbie.