Ellie described herself as “a bit mischievous” in class.
Disinterested in learning and often bored, Ellie had become disruptive at school and was often kicked out of class. Outwardly confident, Ellie talked privately about feeling that everything was “pointless”.
Quartet supports a Bath-based charity called Mentoring Plus. Luckily for Ellie, she was referred to the charity by her school, and matched with Leanne, a bright and assertive woman in her 20s. Ellie’s horizons were widened by trying a range of new activities together, from hiring bicycles for a long ride – to museum visits. “I hadn’t done that sort of stuff before, and so I thought might be boring and a bit goody-goody, but it wasn’t,” Ellie said.
Seeing Leanne as a role model and noticing how constructive activities were making her feel about herself, Ellie made a conscious decision to try harder at school and finally got out of trouble with improved grades and more enjoyment in class.
“When people read about someone in need they often want to help but don’t know how best to. That’s where we come in, helping our donors to put their money where it will do the most good, and providing much-needed funding to projects like this one run by Mentoring Plus”, said Sue Turner, Chief Executive of Quartet Community Foundation.
“It’s always inspiring to see how a new setting, healthy activity and positive role models bring out the very best in the young people we work with,” said Jamie Luck, Chief Executive of Mentoring Plus. “Our mentees all love their time on residential activities, and we see them realising how much they’re all capable of and the range of options they can follow for the future”.
As well as receiving £2,000 from the Bath Half Marathon Fund, which is managed by Quartet Community Foundation, the project also received funding support from The Hedley Foundation and The Somerset Crimebeat Trust.
Ellie was invited to join the farm residential in the summer and, having benefited from mentoring, was able to join in with activities positively, influencing others around her too. “You can choose to do better,” she admitted. This was helped by her discovering a real love of animals and her time on the farm helped her decide to apply for an animal care course at college.
She was worried about coping without her phone and cigarettes for several days – both strict rules on the farm – but the experience was a positive one; “…not having phones with us is good, we get to talk to people more… I love the horses and all the animals. I’ve learned that I don’t need to smoke, that I have a future working with animals and that I’ll do well.”
“It’s fantastic to see the project has made such a difference to local young people”, said Sue Turner.