Ashley’s Story

Facing the Future with Confidence

For the last decade and a half, CBSA has run projects designed to give excluded young children a chance, to belong and to be part of their community. We think the alternative is unthinkable.

In March 2013, Ashley became the first person to enrol on CBSA’s Facing Futures Provision. He was fourteen years old, and had a “rap sheet” in mainstream school as long as his arm.

He’d already spent Year 9 of his education receiving support for anger management and behavioural issues through a Local Authority provision. His time there had been successful and he was able to go back to school at the beginning of Year 10. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out and Jordan began to spend more and more time in “Remove”, an isolation classroom designed to segregate disruptive pupils.

“I would get sent to remove for swearing at teachers, refusing to work, sometimes fighting. I got caught smoking by Welsh block once. I’d rather be in prison than remove! It’s a cubicle just wide enough to put a chair in and a desk folds down in front of you. I was there most of my school life! Seriously, every week at some point!”

Ashley has ADHD, a condition that makes it difficult for him to concentrate and his behaviour difficult to manage. He would get angry very easily when he was frustrated with the work or hadn’t had enough sleep. Sometimes this anger would result in a broken hand and a broken building as he punched at walls in annoyance.

Supporting Ashley required time and exceptional patience. Staff at Facing Futures would deal with each dramatic situation as it occurred without ever forgetting the individual who was hurting most. Over time, through the efforts of Ashley, Facing Futures staff and strong family support, he learned to manage his anger, to trust the people around him and most importantly to value himself.

“I didn’t like school, it was the way the teachers spoke to you, and they didn’t have time. It got so bad, I would say one word and get sent home for it. It was more laid back at Facing Futures, much more flexible, I could be myself”

During his time at Facing Futures, Ashley sat English and Maths GCSE’s and completed a variety of NOCN Level 1 qualifications, a SFEDI Enterprise Award at Level 1, an ASDAN CoPE Level 1 and took part in enterprise schemes to raise money for charity and project activities. He also completed an extended work placement at Hughes & Harper Mechanics. Mechanics was always something he wanted to do but didn’t see it as a real possibility when he couldn’t even see how he’d stay in school.

Ashely successfully completed his time at Facing Futures but the real achievements of the project can only be assessed in the years after the students have left. What becomes of the young people who are given the chance of an education when they were failing in mainstream education?

What became of Ashely?

He still keeps in touch with the project but you wouldn’t recognise him as the angry, frustrated young man who prowled the corridors in 2013. He’s spent the last year doing a Level 1 Mechanics qualification, at college campus and his placement at a local garage, He is expected to successfully complete both on June 26th 2015.

“I’ve had the ability to work on cars. I’m hardly out anymore! I go home, have a shower and go to sleep. It’s nice having cash and I enjoy on the weekends”

Ashley has applied to do higher level qualifications at college and is considering his options; part time or full-time? Mechanics or Welding? Get a part-time job to fit around his course to earn some extra money while he studies or not?

Ashley has plans. Ashely has options, Ashley hasn’t been removed from our community; he is facing the future as part of it.

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