Case Studies

Opening up new directions

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When I joined My Big Adventure I had just come out of an adolescent mental health clinic for depression. I had been unable to start school or work and rarely saw any of my old friends. I had lost a lot of confidence and spent most days at home alone. MBA helped me gain a lot of my confidence and even the first few walks made a big difference to my mood. When we went abseiling, something I never thought I could do, I realised that the kinds of activities and trips that I had done had been things I really loved.

I had a new hobby, a new passion, which gave me something to enjoy. I now go walking almost every day and overall I feel much better about myself. I am also much fitter and have regained a lot of the social skills and abilities I had before I fell ill.

This new found love has encouraged me to pursue a career in outdoor activities, opening up new pathways that I hadn’t seen and giving me an alternative to a return to academia – which I had tried to get back into but struggled with.

I will remember my time with MBA fondly. The experiences of jumping into a chasm while belayed by a rope tied to a tree, struggling to paddle through torrential rain in Scotland and then watching the rain suddenly clear to form three rainbows simultaneously all around the boats, then pressing on into even more rain…because why not?

I am very grateful to the MBA Team for everything they have done for me and I always will be.

A. July 2013

Asperger Syndrome – Summer 2014

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My son B has Asperger Syndrome and at the time when My Big Adventure took him on he was a very angry, negative boy with very few social skills who could never look at anyone when they tried to engage in conversation with him. He didn’t have much interest in anything and would much rather be left in his own company.
In the time B has been with the MBA Team, he has gained so much knowledge and confidence, has had to work as part of a team. If it weren’t for MBA he would never have had the opportunity to do these things.

To anyone thinking about sending a child to My Big Adventure, I would say DO IT! The whole life experience has changed my son and in doing so has changed his life and outlook and for that I cannot thank Stephan and the team enough.

Pupil’s Mother, Summer 2014

A boy who was extremely challenging and incredibly difficult to engage

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P was extremely challenging and incredibly difficult to engage when he was first referred to us. His self-confidence had been severely undermined by bullying and continual deep family crisis. P was not accessing any education at all, he was well known to the police and was close to being taken in to care by the local authority. We have worked with P building his confidence, social and communication skills to equip him to be able to attend a local special school. We have been working with P for nearly five terms and have seen many significant and positive changes as he grows in to a confident and able young man.

A boy who will not engage with any agency and has not attended school for about two years

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T could not be engaged by any agency. Extremely disaffected with very low confidence and self-esteem: would not go to school and would not work with home tutors. T was constantly at war with his carers, and well known to the local police. We worked with T for 14 months until he reached school leaving age. T achieved his only school qualification, Science Plus Level 1, through us, completing his coursework during our weekly sessions. T went on to attend college and complete his courses.

A very bright and articulate lad in his final year of school, extremely disaffected and at risk

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N was a bright but extremely disaffected lad at the end of his school career in year 11, seriously at risk, known to the police, in and out of court with no respect for authority figures and likely to not gain any qualifications. N worked with us for about six months and improved his attendance at his PRU. Greatly improved attendance lead to completion of course work and success at GCSE level. N went on to college and post 16 education. I have since spoken to his head teacher who was adamant that for our intervention N would have achieved nothing at school.

The naughtiest boy in year 9. Can you do something with him?

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R was a bright but disaffected pupil at risk, lacking direction and an outlet for his considerable energy. R joined me for a week’s residential work experience and consequently took up rock climbing, something he then developed to winning competitions and climbing at an international standard. Channelling his talents for positive outcomes has led R to considerable successes in life including a place at Oxford University which he turned down for a place at Cambridge!