“I’ve done lots of fun things with my mentor. We have gone ice skating which I haven’t done before, and bowling. Every time I see him he never leaves me without something to do to keep me occupied.” Julio, aged 11
Julio was referred to Safer London by a local authority Family Support Team. Julio had witnessed domestic violence in the family home and as a result became quiet, withdrawn and increasingly isolated. The team were very concerned that his increased vulnerability could result in him being easily led and manipulated by his peers. They felt that Julio needed support to increase his confidence and self-esteem, engage in positive activities outside of school and would benefit from a positive male role model. The team referred him to Aspire for this support.
After several meetings with Julio to ascertain his needs, the Safer London Support Worker was able to successfully match him with Marcelo, a male mentor who speaks Portuguese (Julio’s family language). His mother, whose English is limited, was delighted with this.
The mentoring sessions were weekly. Their activities have varied from going to museums, ice skating, playing football, discussing internet safety, opening a library account, going to the library to read and do homework, to chatting about school and home life.
As Marcelo speaks Portuguese, Julio has felt that he can open up more freely to discuss things that were on his mind at school and at home. Marcelo has supported Julio immensely with his emotional needs, as well as encouraging him with school, his home and social life.
Julio’s attendance, time keeping and punctuality at school have improved. The Family Intervention Worker who referred Julio has praised the Aspire support and stated that Marcelo is “a very protective factor in Julio’s life”.
Marcelo has supported Julio to express his emotions positively, encouraged him to try new things and motivated him to progress at school and attain the goals he has set for himself.
“We went bowling and talked about going back to school and the different clubs available. He mentioned a new Computer Club. I encouraged him to join because it would be great seeing as he wants to be a Video Game Designer. His confidence and behaviours have improved immensely.” Marcelo, mentor
(Names have been changed to retain confidentiality)