Jamal, 10, has been working with his mentor for just over three months. He was referred because of his confidence levels. His teacher said ‘he is very withdrawn and can be easily led which results in him being involved in disruptive and physical behaviour. He seems to have lots of worries and can be extremely quiet.’
The Kids Network matched him with Eric, a young professional working in the Civil Service. Eric said, ‘I got involved because I liked the idea of a new start up charity. The children they are trying to work with, it’s an age which you can make a real difference and I really want to be part of it.
When I first met Jamal he wasn’t very keen on making eye contact! Now, we can have conversations on a more meaningful level, and he’s a lot more honest. When I pick him up, he’s always very excited and more confident than he was before. I want to try and introduce an academic element now we have built a good relationship.
I’m really enjoying it the more he engages and I see his progress! He has great energy levels which picks me up at the weekend after a long week at work.’
We asked Jamal what he thought of mentoring and Jamal said, ‘Before I had nothing to do, but now I have lots of fun. My favourite thing was when we went to the museum. My mentor is kind, helpful and nice – we have fun going out places!’
Not only has Eric and Jamal’s relationship improved both their weekends, but it is having an impact on Jamal’s behaviour in school. Esther, the Welfare Officer at the school said, ‘his confidence is just building and building. He’s also not getting into the same silliness he was before. It’s something so beneficial and he is really engaged.’
After just three short months together we are really excited to see what the rest of the year has in store for both Eric and Jamal!