Yesterday (8th May) The Seeds of Change was privileged to be featured on BBC Look East’s evening news bulletin, broadcasted to homes across the western counties within this region.
The piece centralised around Leah’s story, one of our past learners, who came to The Seeds of Change following multiple expulsions from mainstream schooling and a difficult home life which ultimately lead to an arrest. Working with the horses and The Seeds of Change coaches changed her life. She suddenly found somewhere where she could be calm, herself and learn at a pace and through methods which helped rather than hindered her development. She is now tackling her issues head on and has achieved things she never thought possible; qualifications and a dream job in a yard.
Leah said: “We’re not problem children, we’re just children with a problem. We’re just misunderstood and that is the thing with The Seeds of Change, they understood me and helped me to overcome my problems. They helped me to realise that not everyone is against you.”
The Seeds of Change works with local authorities’ referral units and offers an alternative setting for young people to learn, develop and try to cope with and overcome their underlying issues, feelings or conditions. The feature went on to discuss how local authorities are trying to support and encourage mainstream schools to find alternative education routes for children who have not thrived in traditional settings or are on the verge of exclusion.
Lorraine Moir, from Luton Borough Council said: “Excluding children from school is a last resort. Heads have to make a very difficult decision that affects the future of that child, and they don’t like doing it. But, for some young people, there’s no option, and that is where my team comes in to support them. The Local Authority does not want young people to be out of a traditional setting for the rest of their school life, but for some it just not the right place for them to flourish.”
The Seeds of Change has been operating for 14 years and has worked with over 3000 young people over that time, many of whom have experienced challenges at home, school and in their community which have often left them vulnerable or with debilitating mental and emotional conditions and little education. Rachael Frossell, one of our directors, reflected on how things have changed over the years: “In the past we would have seen mainly young people dealing with severe bullying or domestic abuse, for instance, but now we are working with young people actively involved in and subjected to gangs, knife crime and county lines issues.” Our recent County Lines event in Bedfordshire highlighted the dangers of County Lines and Child Exploitation that young people today are subjected to.
Thank you to everybody who participated in the piece.