Springfield Lodge organised an outward bound course in the Lake District for residents. Those who attend found the experience life-changing. One of the weekend staff, who was recently left the centre to take up his dream job following completion of his training as a mental health nurse, is an ex-resident who wanted to give something back to the service following his positive experience and resettlement. He provided a good role model for the young people and was able to share his story with current residents.
Dylan was referred to Springfield Lodge by social services due to him having trouble adhering to a youth offending order for robbery. It was felt that Gateway Hostel, where he was living, was having detrimental effect on him due to peer pressure and lack of communication skills.
Dylan has had a dysfunctional family life and has been diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD, but has had a very supportive grandmother who lives in Sutton and encourages Dylan to channel his practical work nature through helping her local church members at the weekend with gardening and assisting at church functions.
During the week, Dylan also worked hard to keep the gardens at Springfield Lodge up to a good standard and supported other young people as they were working on the gardens as part of ‘Community Payback’. Gardening is not the only skill Dylan has – he also enjoys cooking and has qualifications in cookery – he has used these skills to attend Cooking Lifeskills and encourage other residents to bake.
Two months ago we were able to get Dylan on a work experience at a restaurant in a bank at Canary Wharf. This was a two-week placement – at the end of which, if he was successful, he would be offered an apprenticeship. Dylan achieved full attendance on the work experience and a week later received a telephone call offering him a full-time apprenticeship.
This apprenticeship has changed Dylan’s life. He has a reason to get up each morning, developed his communications skills and it has given him confidence so he feels he is making a difference. He is now looking at where he wants to move to when he moves on from Springfield lodge, and although the journey of learning is not over, he is at least on the journey.