Adam’s Story: building trust to get back outside

Adam’s self-esteem is very low and he has really struggled with his mental health since the pandemic. He is being bullied at school and no longer wants to attend. Prior to the Activity Day this Easter he hadn’t left the house or attended school in 6 weeks, and was barely leaving his bedroom. His Mum is struggling to support him as she feels overwhelmed caring for his younger siblings. Adam was at risk of dropping out of the Youth Adventure Programme, so his Programme Manager, Kerrie, offered to support him through some mentoring video calls. With his confidence and self esteem so low, Adam didn’t feel quite ready to take this up, so Kerrie offered texts and phone calls instead to start building his trust and confidence in their relationship. During their conversations Adam opened up about the bullying he’s experiencing, and how he’s exploring his gender identity. Although he still doesn’t feel able to go to school, Kerrie has reminded Adam about the safe environment we have at the Youth Adventure Trust, where bullying is not tolerated and everyone can be themselves.

The one to one support from his Programme Manager made a real difference, and in a huge step forward Adam made it along to his Activity Day over Easter, the first time he’d been out of the house for a long time. He was anxious and reluctant to join in on arrival, but with sensitive and supportive encouragement from Kerrie and the rest of the Youth Adventure Trust team, he grew in confidence and ended up having a fantastic day learning parkour. It was amazing to see him giggling and chatting with the other young people, a real turn around. Adam learnt a few moves and how to land and jump safely, then worked with his teammates to create a routine to show the others. At the end of the day Adam performed in front of the whole group, an incredible achievement given that he’d been almost too nervous to get out of the car at the start of the day.

Kerrie will continue to support Adam and is arranging to meet up for a walk and talk mentoring session before he attends Coastal Camp in May, the next part of his Youth Adventure Programme. Their session will be an opportunity for Adam to explore what he’d like to get out of the camp, and set some aims to focus on during his time there. The camp will be a further chance to challenge himself, get out and away from home, spending time outside with his peers in a positive and supportive environment.