Before I came to Journeys, I used to get angry, a lot especially about my mum letting me down all the time and not knowing who my dad was. I was confused about my identity. I used to always worry about my mum going into hospital and not being able to see her. Because of all of this I struggled to concentrate in school, was always getting told off and in detention. I struggled to make friends at school and people used to pick on me. I live with my Nan who cares for me, but before I came to Journeys I did not get on with my Nan, I was back chatting and being rude. I never really thought about my actions.

I first met with my Journeys worker at a community centre in Nuneaton. We used to talk about what was going for me at home and school. When I first started secondary school I didn’t feel able to talk to my teachers about personal stuff because I didn’t know them so having Journeys to speak to really helped. I really enjoyed going to Journeys it helped me in my life. We used to talk about my feelings using toys and I learnt a lot about how to manage my difficult feelings. We did a lot of work about mental illness. My mum has a mental illness, and now I know it can affect anyone, it was really good to learn about this and it has really helped me cope with my mum’s situation much better. I even got the opportunity to go on a trip to West Midlands Safari Park!

Now I am in year 9, I finished with Journeys 18 months ago. I am able to make friends, I haven’t had a detention in ages and I am coping much better. I even won an award at school for creativity and ingenuity. I cope with my mum’s illness much better and it has improved our relationship. She even spent Christmas with us. Coming to Journeys was a really good experience.

Nan’s feedback: I am so proud of what George has done. He is now a joy to be around. The one part of the Journeys work which has really stuck out for me was being advised to let George be a child, and go back to younger years and reclaim the years he lost. This has really helped us as a family.