Noah is an 11-year-old boy who has been with his current foster carer for a number of years. He is a regular visitor to our Impact project and jumped at the chance to join our Re:LACs Holiday Club.
Initially, when he arrived at Itchen Valley for the holiday club Noah was very quiet, shy, and struggled in large groups. He lacked confidence, and although was keen to join in games with others, he was unlikely to come up with his own ideas and was reluctant to share his opinions.
Our staff were on hand to help! It was clear that Noah enjoyed drawing, particularly different cartoon characters, so we provided plenty of opportunities for Noah to do more drawing. This was on ordinary drawing though! Noah had the opportunity to draw on wood or pumpkins which Noah thoroughly enjoyed. He became very proud of his accomplishments and on multiple occasions was keen to show off his different art and wood creations to his carer at the end of the day.
To support Noah to overcome his low confidence, staff made sure they were on hand with lots of encouragement and praise when he showed really positive work. The team gave him a different role in the activities to encourage him to think independently, use his imagination, and feel more comfortable to come up with his own ideas and not just follow his peers.
As Noah became more comfortable in the space he started believing in his own abilities and the staff saw how he was quickly coming up with his own ideas for games. We were also able to encourage Noah to not simply follow other young people by giving him a different role within an activity allowing him to use his own imagination and skills.
In one session the group were showed how to light a fire using a flint and steel. Initially when presented with this task Noah struggled and could have been frustrated. However, with continued encouragement he was able to get a spark going and lit a fire! This gave Noah the confidence to ask to do more fire lighting challenges which the staff were extremely pleased with!
As Noah became more confident he was talking more with the young people and the staff. He was able to better communicate what he needed and ask for help rather than simply sitting back and not participating as he had done before. Most importantly, he often had a big smile on his face.