This year we're changing the way we assess how our work is changing the lives of young people in need.
We're really excited to show you over the course of the 2020/21 academic year how our mentors are having a positive impact on the young people we support through our theory of change.
Ollie’s life changed the day his mum was diagnosed with cancer. It was a deeply traumatic time for him and his family. Ollie reacted just as many children would. Life didn’t feel fair and he became disillusioned. He started to act out at school and after consistent misbehaviour and truancy from school Ollie was permanently excluded and relocated to an Alternative Provision school in Southwark. Alternative Provision is education for Young People who do not attend mainstream schooling for reasons such as exclusion, absence and in Ollie’s case, behavioral issues.
“I just didn’t want to be there” Ollie told us. This coupled with the troubles that he faced at home meant that Ollie’s behaviour worsened. This is when he met his Dallaglio RugbyWorks’ coach.
Ollie’s school is in Southwark which is an area with high levels of gang and criminal activity. This puts vulnerable Young People at increased risk of making bad choices that will be devastating to their future lives. Our coaches work hard to develop trusting relationships with the students to help them to aspire to alternative positive pathways beyond education. Our aim is for every student to have a direction and plan in place for when they leave school so that they do not end up joining a gang or simply being unemployed.
Slowly, our coaches began to win Ollie’s trust and were able to work closely with him to help him address his feelings about his mother’s illness and improve his behaviour at school. Together, they created Ollie’s first CV and helped him to find work placements. The turning point for Ollie was a Career Taster Day with St James’ Place Wealth Management. Ollie was professional and engaged throughout and was rewarded with an offer of work experience with the firm.
He is now at sixth form studying Level 3 Sports Science and working part time at JD Sports as well as playing semi-professional football. Ollie recently met with the Secretary for Education through Dallaglio RugbyWorks to tell him about his experience of being educated in Alternative Provision. The Secretary of State was overwhelmed by Ollie’s maturity and confidence.
Ollie is a testament to what a Young Person can achieve with the right support to guide them. He has come such a long way from when we first met him and we know that he is on his way to a bright and secure future doing something that he loves.