Amber, is a talented artist and loves colour but in 2019, her future wasn’t looking as bright.
She was struggling with problems at home, poor mental health and simply not fitting in at school.
“School wasn’t the right place for me. I’ve got ADHD so I would get distracted in class then I’d get into trouble and asked to leave. I was falling behind everyone else which made me more stressed… I would lash out.”
I felt school didn’t understand my anxiety, they couldn’t offer me the right support.
Amber’s school suggested she might get what she needed from Surrey Care Trust’s STEPS to 16 team.
Based in Woking, the team have a successful track record of re-engaging 14 to 16 year-olds struggling with mainstream school. The small class sizes help the team to nurture students’ emotional and social skills. Meanwhile, the flexible learning programmes, tailored to each individual’s needs, creates a more relaxed environment and supports them into further education or employment.
“There’s not a lot of pupils at STEPS, the teachers can focus on you – one to one. If it gets too much, the teachers know I just need to go into the garden for some time out.”
They understand me here. I’m making really good progress and the teachers are good at helping me to get through it all. I also think I’m calmer at home too.
Asked if she thinks the future would have been different if she hadn’t been helped by the STEPS team, she says “I would have definitely failed to get any exams at school. In fact I don’t even think I would have stayed on at school!”