Over the last couple of weeks the group work is the reason why I come to school. It’s the only thing I look forward to. I like listening to Kaz and Jake talking about their lives and they see good in everyone. It puts me in a better mood.
I have really enjoyed the VIBE Youth Group visiting us. It has been a great experience for me. Listening to their stories has made me realise that there is hope for my future career under any circumstance. Jake and Kaz have also given me some strategies of dealing with my mental health and well-being. And I would highly recommend the group to other young people who are suffering also.
Amazing. Inspiring. Understanding. I’ve really enjoyed it. They don’t judge me.
I liked being around Jake and Kaz over these last few weeks. They have made me realise that there is mostly reasons for the things I do, how I feel and how I act and that I need to see more positive than the negative.
I referred a group of some of our most vulnerable young people into the VIBE project who experience a range of problems including risk taking behaviours, truancy, low self-esteem and self-harm. I have been amazed at the level of engagement from the group. They have spoken daily about looking forward to the next sessions and have talked me through some of the strategies they have learnt, so eager have they been to share their newfound knowledge and skills. In addition to this, pupils have attended school on days where they would normally not (due to work experience etc) as they didn’t want to miss sessions – testimony in itself!
The group have benefited from being in a 100% positive environment and have commented that they have never been exposed to so many compliments and such praise which has left them with the “feel good” factor – long after the sessions have finished. (The individual reports were a lovely touch). I have noticed the pupils reflecting on their actions and discussing consequences, where this has not been the case previously.
I think the most long-lasting effect on the group will be that Kaz and Jake have shown them that they do have a choice in determining their futures and that they have the ability to achieve even in the most difficult of circumstances – they’ve given them hope. On a personal level it has made me reflect on my own approaches and made me put a spotlight on my own practices.
Leanne Evans Well-being Officer, Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun.