Seven-year-old Emily attends the Bluebirds Ability sessions to support with her Autism Spectrum Disorder. Over recent years, her parents have lived with the emotional strain and uncertainty of not knowing whether Emily would ever be able to walk or talk...
Chloe is in year 10 and lives in Ely, Cardiff. She struggled in school after some bullying led her to experiencing depression, anger issues and disengagement from education.
She would often be removed from class and was moved to the school’s behavioural unit.
Chloe’s keen interest in football meant that when she saw Cardiff City FC Foundation Kicks sessions were taking part in her area, she wanted to get involved. She was then sign-posted to our specialist Kicks sessions with Terry, a trained coach and mentor, who could help with her anger, resulting in poor behaviour in and out of school.
Through one-to-one support, Terry works with Chloe to get to the root of her feelings and to understand why she’s struggling with something. From her first engagement with Terry, Chloe started to notice a difference in herself.
"I haven’t been getting into trouble with the police like I used to. Since working with Terry and addressing my anger, I’m better in school, I have better relationships with teachers and classmates. I’ve got a better relationship with my mum, who’s told me she’s proud of me."
This year, since returning to school, Chloe now spends half her timetable in mainstream lessons, as she transitions from the behavioural unit, with the rest of her timetable spent there.
There have been no phone calls about her behaviour, and she hasn’t been sent home once. She’s also really proud to have recently achieved an A and an A* in her mock exams, and she has joined a local football team where she dreams of becoming a footballer.
"I feel happier, I’m more confident about everything. I never thought I could change myself or get back into mainstream school.
"If you would have asked me last year what I want to be when I’m older, I would have said I’ll be in jail by the time I’m 18. I don’t want to go back to the way I was. I’m focused now. I feel like because my head’s clear from working with Terry, I’ve been able to look at my future in a way I never thought I would."