The Aberlour Futures – Dumfries and Galloway service was contacted by Amy’s Pupil Support teacher from Stranraer Academy in September 2016. The service supports young people aged 11–18, who are experiencing social, emotional or behavioural difficulties which impact on their education. The service operates from bases in Dumfries, Annan and Stranraer.
Amy suffered from anxiety and struggled at school. She was bullied and this led to her school work suffering and her behaviour becoming disruptive in class and at home. Amy lived with her twin sister, her mum and her mum’s partner. Amy was at risk of school exclusion when she was referred to the Futures service.
Amy was referred by her school Pupil Support Teacher shortly after she started 4th year as she was experiencing anxiety and panic attacks. The team at Futures worked with Amy on creating coping strategies that would build her confidence. Amy was initially reluctant to engage and was sceptical as to what Futures was and what it could offer her. Kerry, Amy’s Key worker, slowly started to gain Amy’s trust, allowing her time and space to experiment with various activities, and find out what she was good at.
Kerry helped Amy to identify skills and plan goals that would be beneficial for her in the future. She set Amy small challenges to increase her confidence and supported her to make links with Dumfries and Galloway Employability Skills Service and Skills Development Scotland. Kerry accompanied Amy on visits to their premises and supported her to successfully complete an ASDAN PSHE programme. She received a certificate for this which helped her to see that she was capable of achieving academic success.
Amy was given the opportunity to work in small groups and with a range of adults/young people and staff at the service which helped her to make friends and build positive relationships.
Amy applied for work experience through Dumfries and Galloway Employability and Skills Service and started a placement working with young children in her local community. Amy also completed an application form for college and coached her in interview skills for the College Advice Session.
Amy’s Future Plans
Amy was successful in her application for college and was welcomed onto the Childcare Course at the John Niven Campus in September 2017. In the future, Amy would like to join the Royal Air Force and believes that getting herself back into the frame of mind to study via the childcare course will help her achieve that.
Amy said that the Futures service helped her “as it wasn’t like school”, and she is proud of what she has achieved: “This ASDAN is the most work I’ve ever done!”
“The transformation in Amy from when she first started to now has allowed me to see a young girl who was suffering from anxiety grow into a very mature and confident young lady. Amy has overcome a lot of barriers that have allowed her to be a successful learner, achieve qualifications, start a work experience placement and most of all gain confidence and belief in her abilities, and is now able to recognise and be proud of herself. I myself could not be more proud of Amy and all that she has achieved! I have no doubts that Amy can and will achieve all she sets out to.” Kerry, Futures Key Worker
“Amy has changed in behaviour and attitude. She is calmer and more happier, myself and Amy are a lot closer, we are back to the way we were. Aberlour and Kerry in particular, I can’t thank them enough for helping Amy, the change in her is brilliant”. Emma Miller (Amy’s Mum)
“Sincere thanks for your input Kerry; you have been a total saviour for that girl in helping her secure her next steps and I am very grateful for your support.” Pamela Livingstone, Pupil Support Teacher Stranraer Academy