Before Damien started coaching, he was on track for a permanent exclusion. School was tough, he found it hard to concentrate in the classroom and his struggle to control his anger outbursts made it difficult to make friends.
Damien said: "I thought of school as a place where I wasn’t meant to be and they were just going to get more annoyed with me. I felt like there was no point because nobody wanted me there.”
Thankfully, Damien met his Early Intervention Coach Christine, and things started to change.
Christine said, "Damien was quite nervous initially, but after a few weeks we got on like a house on fire! He enjoyed coming to the sessions, he really began to listen when we were talking about how he could make friendships and concentrate better, and he took everything on board.”
She added, “He’s always smiling now.”
Fiona, Damien’s Headteacher has seen a huge difference in his behaviour and attitude in school. "I do genuinely believe that this work with Damien has made a massive difference in his life. It has definitely, without a doubt, stopped Damien from having a permanent exclusion. Actually in the last year, Damien hasn’t had any short-term exclusions either.”
Damien says, "My attitude has changed a lot. I’m making more friends, I’m being kind and sharing more."
Christine reflects, "I think the best moment was when Damien’s mum phoned me and said how delighted she was with his behaviour and that he really enjoyed coming to the sessions. I think when you are making a difference in just one child’s life, it has a knock-on effect for their family as well.
If you can have somebody on their side who’s going to mentor them, you can change a child’s life.
This is exactly what TLG does.”
Watch Damien's inspirational story of transformation below.
Find out more about how your church can get involved with TLG Early Intervention here.