“I thought people didn’t like me.” Ten-year-old Charles spoke these heart-breaking words. Charles struggled with confidence and anger at school after facing bullying which he didn’t know how to cope with. “At school, I didn’t want to come because I kept getting bullied almost every day,” says Charles.
“I was getting more angry and reactive,” he continues. “If someone said something mean about me, I would get physical and punch them or kick them. I was getting in trouble more than other people but I didn’t really think that was fair.”
“I think I needed somewhere to let all my anger out. I started coaching with Helen in 2021.”
Helen nods, “It was really good timing for TLG Early Intervention to come into Charles’ life. He’d been struggling and it was just starting to show, his mum and dad were picking up on things at home. School was noticing there was some unhappiness and friendships issues. It was a pivotal point for Charles and a brilliant time to start coaching.”
Charles' emotional wellbeing has significantly improved since he started coaching with Helen. “Before I had coaching,” says Charles, “I had no one to talk to about my feelings. I used to let all my anger out on my family, but I know that wasn’t fair. But once I had Helen I could actually talk about what was going on.”
Helen was able to use different activities to help Charles process his emotions and learn to respond to them positively. “Part of coaching with Charles was helping him to understand his emotions because emotional wellbeing is really important. Charles’ emotions were coming out physically when he felt stressed or angry, so we chatted about where our emotions come from and found ways to cope and respond to those difficult feelings.”
“Helen helped me find a few options of things I could do when I was struggling in a situation; like I could draw a cartoon about it,” says Charles. “I would draw scenes of things that happened to think about what I could have done and how I could have done it.” Helen agrees, “Charles is so brilliant at drawing, it’s a huge talent of his. That became an outlet for him to think about what he could have done differently in difficult situations.”
Charles continues, “I’ve been getting bullied less recently and I’m feeling happier about myself. I haven't got too much self-doubt about myself now. So I would say that coaching has helped me a lot. It’s given me someone to talk to about what I felt and my emotions. I’m much more calm and my teachers have noticed that I’m doing well!
Reflecting on their best moments from the coaching journey, Helen says “Such a proud moment was when Charles’ class voted him as their representative for school council.”
“Almost everyone in my class said they were going to vote for me!” “I think that shows that the whole class has seen a change!”
“Moving up to secondary school is going to be quite scary, but I’m actually feeling quite excited as I’m making a lot of new friends and I feel happy to have people who like me and support me,” Charles concludes.
Outside of school, Charles has been going along to the afterschool club at his local church and has been enjoying learning about God and developing a ‘connection’ with God in church groups. Charles loved being a part of the church pantomime at Christmas and learning about Jesus through all the different activities he’s done at church. He has loved meeting new people there too!
The community Charles found, both with Helen and with his class-mates through the impact Early Intervention had on him, has meant his emotional wellbeing has improved and he is ready to take on his future!