Sam was diagnosed with ADHD during his Primary School years and has always struggled with the structure of the school environment. He found it hard to concentrate or stick to the rules in a class of children. He is also dyslexic, making reading and writing more difficult.
Sam found the work frustrating so starting messing around, and often got himself into trouble. When he went up to Secondary School Sam struggled even more with the structure, rules and expectations put on him. During his first year he was identified as at risk of permanent exclusion due to his disruptive behaviour. At this point Sam says he felt very negative and disinterested in school; he couldn’t see any point in being there.
Sam was referred to The Mitchemp Trust New Start Adventure Programme by his Head of Year. From the start Sam threw himself into all the activities with a high level of enthusiasm and a great sense of fun. However he had to learn how to manage his behaviour to ensure it was appropriate to the situation. He learnt to listen when he needed to, how to work with others, and how to use his energy and enthusiasm to motivate and lead those around him.
“The camps helped me be better at working in a group. I used to hate that but I don’t mind it anymore. And I learnt about just getting on with people even if you don’t like them that much. I’m not getting into trouble so much at school now.
I used to be sent out of my classes all the time but I haven’t been sent to the isolation room once this year. If I’m being told off, I get that it’s usually because I’ve actually done something wrong, so I’m more respectful to the teachers. I think about what I want to do in the future now more too. I’d like to be plumber or an electrician, but also be an activity instructor or something like that.
I loved all the activities and being outdoors at the camps. I’m definitely going to volunteer at a camp when I’m older. And I’m going to raise money for The Mitchemp Trust too cos it’s really important that it keeps going. It’s really good – it kind of inspires you, shows you the way forward.”