Artwork by Lara MacGillivray, 16

Case Studies...

Find out more about the transformative effect our programmes have on the young people Growing2gether works with, by reading some of our case studies....

* All case studies written by Growing2gether Facilitators. All names have been changed to protect the individual's identity

John - Discovering New Skills

“Helping children in nursery helped me to find skills and qualities I never really knew I had. I am so happy I got this opportunity because I would never have got the chance to improve myself to become who I am now.

John had moved to the U.K when he was about 6 with very little English and he can remember the struggle he had in his Primary school classes to fit in as he did not really understand what was going on. Initially there was a certain passivity about him; very polite and just nodding occasionally. At school he had a patchy attendance and few friends. He was not really interested in school work or anything really.


Tim – Increasing our sense of Self-Worth

I didn't know what to say to people but have found out that anyone can feel that way and that I am not alone.

This young man has Asperger Syndrome and finds many elements of school life very challenging. He has auditory sensitivity which means that certain classroom environments are quite uncomfortable for him. He also struggles with peer relationships and feels socially isolated.  Very recently, in our group, Tim berated himself for ‘not achieving as much as his fellow S3 pupils currently were’. The extent of his social discomfort led to serious consideration of home schooling in S2, but the school was happy to negotiate a reduced timetable which meant he was able to remain in mainstream education.

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Nicky - Overcoming Social Anxiety:

I have learned that I am patient and more kind than I have been made out to be.

Nicky was identified by the Guidance team as someone who would benefit from a new and innovative experience which might give her a forum for re-engaging and believing in herself again.  Nicky was not interacting well with her peers and her ‘social anxiety’ was reducing her ability to engage with school work. Her demeanour was head down, little eye contact and very shy and withdrawn.  In the classroom she does her work but shows no real engagement with a topic and the staff report that she is ‘behind’ in her studies and at risk of failing.

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Andrew – Transforming Aggression:

It has been so much fun here at nursery with the little ones. I have learned so much and it has been a blast.

Andrew is a 14-year old boy who attends the local Academy. He is very outspoken and aggressive in his dealings with adults, especially teaching staff at the school. Andrew was often sent out of classes, given detentions as well as a couple of exclusions for speaking out and asserting his opinions and thoughts. There was very little self -regulation or awareness of the impact he was having on others.

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Gillian – Re-engaging with the World:

I’m more aware of what’s going on around me and more focused on what I’m wanting to do in the future of my career choice.

When Gillian started with the Growing2gether group I was instantly struck by the strength of the protective wall she had built around herself. School staff had mentioned to us that this girl seems to hardly ever smile, struggles with school but would really very much rather stay at home; has few friends and interactions with people and shows no interest in her own future.

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Milly – Changing Direction:

One of my teachers told me that I can’t focus for more than 10 minutes ... I think I am changing ‘cos I am enjoying doing this work.

The school was very keen for Milly to join Growing2gether; in S2 Milly was “getting into trouble and unable to focus or engage with school work”. On meeting Milly she was chatty, smiling, asked questions and generally interested in what the programme was about. “I’m just glad to get out of lessons ... I hate school!” So she was honest too.

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Lisa – Finding Our Voice:

I started off shy and with all the inspiration I have become the most confident I have ever been.

Lisa is an S3 pupil who struggles with confidence and her inability to voice an opinion, even when she is knowledgeable about the topic. Her voice is quiet which she believes to be a disadvantage. At the start of the G2g programme she was clear about this when we spoke to her on a 1:1 basis. It was the only time she would really speak at all.

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Susan – Overcoming Trauma:

I finally feel like I am OK as a person. I always thought everyone else was better than me but being in this group has helped me to try different things.

From the start Susan said that she enjoyed coming to Growing2gether and looked forward to seeing the children. She seemed a little removed from everyone in the group and did not speak up very much, appearing timid and quiet. It seemed strange that everyone else was in school uniform but she came in her own clothes each week. I learned that she was on a reduced timetable.

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