Case Studies

“It’s got me out of the house and helped me get motivated” - Give and Take Start - TC's story

Give & Take Start is an employability and personal development programme for young people aged between 16 and 24 years of age not in employment education or training. 

As part of this cycle The East Belfast Start team engaged with a young person referred from Donegal Pass. TC has not been in full time employment since leaving post primary education and has had a number of personal obstacles to overcome. TC has additional needs in the form of Autism, and has a bias towards low self-motivation and self-esteem, often relying on substance abuse as a way of relieving his anxieties.

TC started on the programme in late October 2017 and has been a participant to date. He has engaged in level 1 OCN qualifications in healthy living, Time Management and Employability. He has also completed vocational qualifications in First Aid. TC has also been actively participating in the Get Active programme in partnership with Ulster Rugby.

Personally TC has said that “it’s got me out of the house and helped me get motivated”.  He continued by saying that “it’s given me a bit of confidence, because I didn’t realise there were so many people in the same position as me.  The rugby’s been a good laugh and even though I’ve never played before, the coach Ryan great at encouraging all of us.”

Additionally, to the OCN’s and vocational training TC has attended Essential Skills classes with the tutors and said that “even though I struggle to concentrate, It’s an easier place to learn, there’s not the same pressure as school”

When asked about the overall programme and how he would evaluate it from start to finish TC said that “it’s a good experience, I’ve got more confident as I’ve gone on, I feel better about my chances (of doing something with my life) and reckon my outlook has changed about myself and what I can do”

TC has recently attended an interview and feels he has a good chance of securing a fulltime post. He has also been selected and appeared in a mental health awareness promotional video.

"I entered the care system at the age of 16 and things started to really go downhill from there." - Give and take Downpatrick

Z is a 20 year old from Downpatrick taking part in the Include Youth Project: Give and Take Core

“Give and Take has helped me my getting me into a routine, building up my confidence and helping me think about my future and how to achieve my goals.”

Barriers which existed in Z’s life included

  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Lack of support
  • Attitude – felt that everything and everyone against me
  • Choice of friends

“Before Give and Take I was at school doing my GCSE’s  and although I got some but not my essential skills, school wasn’t for me. I entered the care system at the age of 16 and things started to really go downhill from there. I did try and go to tech but I only lasted a month. I didn’t get any support and also just because of my personal circumstances. I just turned to drugs to help me.

“Three years later at the age of 19, I decided to give Give and Take a go after putting it off for months

Z  has achieved

  • English – communication levels 1 &2
  • Maths – Entry Level 2 and communication Level 1. Working on Level 2
  • ICT – achieved level 1 and working on level 2
  • Duke of Edinburgh bronze skills section and is currently working on physical
  • Range of personal development and employability qualifications

“I am hoping to move on in September to do my Level 2 in Health and Social Care at tech as I feel now ready and will have support. I also am in the process of having a placement set up – as my Give and take worker is linking in with the Trust employability to secure me a work placement around care, which I am interested in.”

“Before Give and Take I didn’t see me making it to next year." - Derry Give and Take

Young 19 year old female.  Passed 11 GCSE’s and had aspirations around joining the RAF.

Young person had a prolonged episode of poor mental health and self injurious behaviour, including several admissions to Grangewood and Beechcroft,  with release into a specialist foster placement. The young person also had a passion for horses and dogs. 

During her time on Give and Take, the young person became a very active group member, participated in ICT, and also participated in a placement as a medical technician.  The young person also developed non-epileptic seizures during this time, completed their first aid, and learned how to manage this and minimize risk to self, within a safe environment.  Ways of minimizing stress and other potential factors were also explored, including reengaging with sport, encouraging eating, and reducing her consumption of energy drinks.  Also, the young persons plan to study a access course full time was re considered and a part time access course was applied for instead, in light of the above.

The young person successfully moved on to a part time Access Diploma in Science and continues with this.  She plans to continue into a full time course in Veterinary Nursing when complete, and is very much looking forward to this.

“Before Give and Take I didn’t see me making it to next year. I had a great relationship with my Key Worker and ICT Tutor, in which I could be very open and honest, and in return felt well supported and safe.

"The support and structure gave me focus back to think beyond where I was stuck, and helped me uncover the potential I hadn’t time to think about.  Now, I have a structure to my day, I am independent and looking after myself, and have a firm plan in place for the future to study Veterinary Nursing full time once I have finished my Access Course.”

D - Belfast Give & Take Case Study

D came to Belfast Give & Take a young man whose confidence & self esteem was at its lowest.

Although he has engaged in the scheme, he doesn’t always stick to the programme or tasks and would always have sporadic attendance because of his mental health issues.

We began working with the Irish Football Association (IFA) on their Goals programme in February and D has really bought into the programme.

He has really engaged in the programme and has only missed one session from a possible 10 and he is really enjoying it. He is accumulating his coaching qualifications while doing something that he loves.

D’s confidence and self esteem has really grown and he is undertaking coaching sessions with his peers and staff.

D has progressed so well during the programme that the IFA staff facilitating the programme have identified D as a future coach. They have also indicated that they would be keen for D to help out at coaching sessions with Cliftonville football club and also at this year’s summer camps.

Not only has D’s confidence and self esteem got better but his mental health has improved and he looks forward to this programme every week. 

Care Day 2018

Match programme

​Patricia's story

Patricia speaking at today's Celebration Event.

I like that the Give & Take Scheme is flexible, that you get your lunch and buses paid for and get to go on activities. Kim, Clem and Fred the tutors are all dead on, they have a good sense of humour and they help me do my work at my own time. So far I have achieved my Essential skills English entry level 2, maths entry level 3 and ICT level 1.

​Nathan's story

Speaking at today's Celebration Event

Before the Give and Take Scheme I was expelled from school. I was annoyed that I wasn't getting the chance to finish my qualifications. When this happened I was doing nothing just walking about the streets bored, then I heard about Give and Take and thought it could work for me. My social worker Jenny Stewart referred me and I have liked it even since. All the staff are dead on and Deborah and Dominic have helped me. I loved going out on work placement to Dr Bs and now I am read to try somewhere else. For the first time I feel like I have made friends and really fit in. I enjoy the Scheme because I understand all the work and find it fun.

​Anthony's story

Speaking at today's Celebration Event.

Deborah, Dominic, Kim, Clem and Fred all work with me not against me. This support has helped me gain seven qualifications. I left school when I was 15 and didn't think I would have ever gain any qualifications. I would recommend the Give and Take Scheme to any young person because it's good craic, you get to go on residentials and do fun things, as well as gain your qualifications.

Tom's Story

Tom* came onto Meant to Work through a programme funded by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, ‘Aiming for Success’. Tom has been involved in Include Youth’s Give and Take scheme after having major mental health difficulties, where he ended up in hospital for his own safety. Tom has said “I don’t want to sit about and do nothing anymore I want to develop myself”, so alongside his Monday-Wednesday programme the youth peer mentors have been meeting with him separately to look at his employability.

Tom had no previous employment or interview experience so looking at employment has been a new challenge for him and he has benefitted from the one to one support in order to explore what he wants for the future. To date Tom has had two job interviews and we can see his confidence and belief in his right to work growing. Tom is now motivated to continue to achieve his overall goal of part time employment.

Tom said “Meant to work has really helped my confidence and belief in attending interviews. I feel my confidence growing every interview and I know what to expect and how to behave. I hope it pays off one day” 

Naomi's story

Naomi is 20 years old and a participant on our Give & Take Scheme in Belfast. Here's her story...

My experience in foster was good at stages but also bad at times. The good things about foster care were meeting new families along your journey, who welcomed you with open arms. The bad things were that I was in care from a couple of weeks old, so I've been in 43 different foster homes and one residential care home.

There was one foster family who was really bad to me and my older sister. They had an adopted daughter also, they closed our toes in doors, poured kettle water over us when we were in the bath, they had a choice to lose their job or the adopted daughter went back into the care system.

In 2008 I went home to my mother for a while but she relapsed and went back to drinking, as she and my father were alcoholics. The reason me and my siblings ended up in the care system was my mother was an alcoholic from she was 15, when she met my father. There was a lot of domestic violence, my father done attempted murder on my mother, this went on for 12 years.

I ended up in a foster home with a family in Newtownards, I was with them six years. I'm still in contact with them, they are old now so they had to give up fostering. They were the best family placement I was in.

My young brother and sister are still in a foster care placement in Bangor, they are placed together. We see them every month for an hour. We all enjoy our time we spend together. We all have a tight bond. We all are very close with our mother but unfortunately me and my wee brother don't speak to our father as he is still an alcoholic. My mother has been off the drink for three years now, in the future she is going to fight to get my brother and sister back in her care.

I'm a young person from a care background. I am pleased that I've been through the life I have because it's made me who I am today. I want to go on in life and be a foster carer and give back to the system. I had a bad start in life but I'd love to give a young person the life they deserve.

Now that I am out of care, I have my own house, two dogs, I spend time with my mother, I keep in touch with my older sister and nieces. I'm happy with my life now.



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