Eastleigh Youth Leader tells us about attendee Bobby, who has discovered new-found confidence and independence since attending Challengers.
When Bobby first attended Challengers, he appeared quite shy and struggled at times to socialise with some of the other children within the setting mainly gravitating towards adults. Bobby has grown and flourished, forming fantastic relationships with the other young people at Eastleigh Youth who will often ask for him when he is not there. Bobby has grown greatly in his confidence and friendships, not only with the close-knit group of young people he has formed friendships with but also goes out of his way when he observes another young person with a similar interest.
The main support in place for Bobby is the way staff support his relationships with peers, helping him with the confidence to take part in other’s games and help him to compromise when differences arise. More recently, Bobby has encountered some struggles relating to his health meaning that the way staff support him has needed to be adapted to ensure he is still able to fully engaged and there are no barriers to his play.
Bobby loves taking part in games, particularly competing with his friends in bowling on the Wii. He particularly enjoys the golf game and has more recently been showing other young people how they can play and get involved, demonstrating the way his confidence has developed when it comes to forming new friendships. Bobby also enjoys going out and about with Challengers, particularly taking part in the inclusive cycling scheme was use within our venue. Bobby likes to challenge himself, trying out new routes and the different equipment on offer which staff offer guidance and assistance when needed.
Challengers offers Bobby a place he knows he is safe, welcomed and part of a community. Considering some of the struggles Bobby experiences outside of Challengers, he always comes in happy to see us and quickly gets involved in some form of game with his friends.
When Bobby isn’t at EASY, some of the other young people will ask for him especially if they need help with a game or are exploring the cycling trails. Challengers also offers an environment where, on days where Bobby may have less energy or not feel up to cycling around or hosting golf tournaments on the Wii, he knows that he will be supported in having fun whatever that looks like for him that day. There is always someone there who understands his needs, will listen and give him the extra support he needs to have fun.
Bobby’s mum Debbie says:
“Bobby loves Challengers. He always has a fantastic time and always comes away from there buzzing and smiling. The staff have always been so kind and attentive, and they show such confidence and eagerness to ensure the young adults have a great day. Challengers is a life line for my son as he has no social life (not for the want of trying!)”