When I was first referred to the New Skills Programme, I was constantly getting kicked out of class for arguing with my classmates and teachers. I felt like everyone knew how to push my buttons and wind me up and all I could do was blow up at them! The New Skills Programme took me out of school twice a week and really helped me to think about why I was getting so angry and simple ways I could keep my head. My favourite part of the course was when we worked on the Leigh Centurions match day and we had to walk over a thousand kids around the side of the pitch at half time. This was really hard because they were aged from 5 to 11 years but the communications skills we learned from New Skills really helped me and my mates from the programme to keep them from running on the pitch. It was after this event, we did a goal setting session with Oz and I realised that I really enjoyed working with younger kids and it would be something that I would like to do when I was older. When the course finished and I went back to school, I decided that I needed to keep my head down and ignore people who were trying to wind me up. In Year 10, for my work experience, I asked to work in a Nursery and loved it. I have now left school and I am studying Health & Social Care at my local college with the aim of working in a Nursery. I’d like to thank Oz and the team because coming on the New Skills Programme was one of my favourite parts of High School.
New Skills participant from cohort 1
MM was attending college two days per week when he became involved with Leigh Community Trust. MM gained skills in using computers along with him enjoying the physical activity side of the programme. MM has experienced exclusion from education placements and the course enabled him to grow in confidence and he is currently attending college full time in Bolton undertaking a construction course.
Young offender participant from New Skills cohort 3
I lost the plot all the time before coming to the LSV stadium, I would just trash rooms and stick things through windows, punch walls anything to show how angry I was. The second time I went to the LSV someone did something to wind me up I don’t even remember what it was now but I absolutely trashed the room, I didn’t break anything like the computers or ‘owt’ because I actually really liked the people there but I was just angry and its what I do. Mick and the other staff were totally different to what I’m used to they just waited for me to calm down and then sat me down and talk to me like I was someone worth talking too, they explained how nothing had changed about the situation by trashing the place and then made me pick up all the stuff I’d lobbed everywhere and write a letter of apology to the boss lady and apologise to them. It was the first apology I really meant. After that day everything changed for me, they worked really hard with me to control my temper and I really enjoyed going there, I just wish I could come all the time
Pathway’s Participant aged 14.
Working on the summer school was awesome! I didn’t even go out the night before cos I didn’t want to be hung over for the day. I was really nervous on the first day cos I thought the others would mess about and spoil it for me. But everyone worked really hard I don’t think any of us wanted to let Mick and Oz (staff) down and we were working with little kids so we had to be grown up.
Pathways Participant 13 years old
I couldn’t cope I had been out of the military for ten years and then all of a sudden wham, I was having anxiety attacks, didn’t want to go out, I lost my job because of it, I went to see my doctor and he gave put me on anti-depressants but nothing seemed to help I tried to talk about what I was going through with my sister but as much as she tried she just didn’t understand. She worked for the council and found out about a pilot project that was running. I didn’t want to go because if she couldn’t understand who else would but she made me go and I’m so glad she did! I have been attending for the last 4 months and its like a breathe of fresh air. Dave (staff) has been such a support, we have worked through things at my own pace and he’s also ex-military so he has more of an understanding, I have reduced my anti-depressants, sorted out my housing problems and I have just completed training to become a mentor of the programme. I can’t thank the Changing Forces programme and its staff enough its been my ‘crutch’ for the last 4 months which has allowed me to pick my life up at my own pace
I always loved the seaside as a child and when we entered LCT's sensory dome I was transported back there, it was great to experience that with my friends, we were talking about it all day. it was amazing.
Marion Aged 80