Sean Daly: A Chance to Connect
Working with young people who struggle to engage with the mainstream school system is one of many forms of support Saints Foundation provides in and around the local community.
Sean Daly, 13, is one such example of a young, energetic teenager who was struggling to make the most of his school experience, and as such was referred to Saints Connect in April 2016.
“Before Saints Connect I wasn’t good at speaking out loud in school,” Sean recalls. “I was moody, couldn’t focus, and my behaviour wasn’t good enough.”
Saints Connect is a referral-based programme for young people aged 11-16, who have been identified within their school as requiring additional support with their education.
The programme gives its participants the opportunity to engage in sport, develop leadership attributes and engage in diversionary experiences to achieve accredited outcomes, all while easing them back into mainstream education.
“As part of my Young Leader Award I had the opportunity to go to Southampton FC’s Training Ground and deliver a session to a group of primary school children,” Sean says.
“I felt lucky and privileged to be there, and working with the younger children gave me the chance to be a leader and a role model, and also gave me a lot of respect for the work my teachers do for me.”
“Since completing my Young Leader Award I feel more confident, I feel like I can talk out loud in front of big groups of people without getting nervous, and through the events and trips I’ve been on, I’ve made friends who I’d never have met without Saints Connect.”
As part of Saints Connect, we work with local companies to provide diversionary experiences for Sean and the other participants.
“I’ve had the opportunity to go indoor skydiving, to Flip Out trampoline park, the New Forest Outdoor Centre and do a graphic design workshop with WhiteHype. All of these are experiences I might never do again, and it makes me appreciate what Saints Connect has done for me even more.”
Part of Saints Connect is integrating its young participants back into school life, and also teaching them valuable life skills to set them in good stead for the future.
“In the future I would love to be a part of the Foundation or Saints Connect,” Sean says. “It seems really fun teaching and working with the young kids.”
“For now though I just want to carry on being involved with Saints Foundation and Saints Connect, and focus on my work so I stay on track at school.”
If you would like to know more about our Saints Connect programme, please contact Steve Bollon at firstname.lastname@example.org.