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Copyright: Surrey Care Trust 2013
Copyright: Surrey Care Trust 2013
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Charity no. 285543
Peggy had a miserable time at school, the butt of the unkindness that young people sometimes unthinkingly inflict on each other.
The name-calling started within a few weeks of going to secondary school... “calling me fat and all that s**t”. It never let up until, after three years, P couldn’t take any more and refused to attend.
“I absolutely hated school,” says the 16-year-old who spent most of her year 10 at home missing out on education. But she had a second chance when she was offered a place at the Surrey Care Trust’s STEPS Under 16s programme. This provides an alternative for young people who have found it impossible to cope or fit into mainstream school.
Her experience had made P both very withdrawn and also very angry.
On one occasion when still at school she recalls getting into trouble because she hit back, literally, at a boy who had been persistently unkind and verbally aggressive towards her. She is still angry about the years of bullying that ate away at her confidence but on the STEPS programme she has learned to get along with other young people and has found her voice.
Her greatest anxiety when she started on the STEPS programme at our Staines Learning Centre was that the taunts might start again.
“But I have never been bullied here. There was a bit of ‘why don’t you talk, Peggy’ from the others to start with because I was very quiet but the staff sorted it out. I have always felt comfortable here.”
Peggy’s difficulties with literacy meant that at school she often sat in class struggling to follow the lesson and feeling frustrated.
At the Learning Centre, with a small number of young people and a high ratio of staff and volunteers to students, she has found plenty of support. “You get a lot more help here. If you can’t do something you can ask and they will come and sit with you and explain. I have had a lot of help with literacy, my spelling is much better and I read more.”
Peggy is now hoping to go to college to take a beauty therapy course. She is sad to be moving on from the STEPS programme where she has felt happy and secure but the Surrey Care Trust will continue to give her support through its mentoring programme.
Louise Townend is programme leader for STEPS Under 16s. “Peggy was very shy and did not mix well at the beginning but after explaining to the rest of the group how she had been bullied at her old school she really gained their respect,” she said.
The highest and lowest of Peggy’s year were both significant milestones. She has a fear of heights, yet she was brave enough to go rock climbing when the group went away on an outdoors pursuits course. She was also extremely nervous about the idea of going on the London Underground and she conquered that fear for the first time as well.
“Peggy's confidence has grown so much,” said Louise. “I know she does not want to leave, having built relationships with both staff and students but she has applied to college and I am sure with all she has learnt at STEPS she will fit in confidently there as well.”
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|Vision Mission and Values|
|Working in Partnership|
|President and Patrons|
|Working for us|
|My Life with the Surrey Care Trust|
|Working with Young People|
|Mentoring in Surrey|
|Learning for Life|
|Stanwell Children's Centre|
|Not all leafy lanes|
|STEPS School Inclusion|
|STEPS Under 16s|
|Young people on Swingbridge|
|Courses and activities|
|Swingbridge Contact Details|
|More Information about courses|
|Boat handling and environmental skills|
|Mentoring young people|
|Put Yourself In Their Shoes|
|Learning on Swingbridge|
|Beyond the Learning Centres|
|How STEPS makes a difference|
|Skydiving and Charity Challenges|
|Dress Down Days|
|Charity Pie Off|
|Wear Your Onesie to Work|
|Firewalk @ Old Reigatian RFC|
|The Big Yellow Duck Race 2013|
|Go Ahead and Jump!|
|I'll Swing, You Putt|
|Surrey 3 Peaks 2013|
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|Year of the Charity Challenge|
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