15 year old Theo is celebrating taking part in his first ever professional boxing match – a huge milestone for a teenager who had been excluded from school and was being exploited to carry weapons and drugs.
When we first met Theo, he was guarded and reluctant to trust adults. However, over time his caseworker began to build a trusted relationship with Theo and he began to open up. We offered consistent, intensive sessions with Theo to address underlying issues around his behaviour and the risks associated with it.
His caseworker was also able to guide Theo through education and employment options and set out goals for his life. Theo was encouraged to develop his passion for boxing and attend training on a regular basis, giving him structure in his life.
We also worked with Theo’s dad so he knew the signs of exploitation to look out for. If any these emerged, we would be alerted.
Over the many months since we first met Theo, the transformation has been extraordinary. He has never missed an appointment or visit with St Giles, has not gone missing, nor has he reoffended. His boxing training is going from strength to strength and has helped him manage his emotions. His first professional boxing match has boosted his confidence and pride.
We are now helping him with consistent long-term goal planning for the future he wants for himself.
He had this to say about the support he has received:
I feel comfortable speaking to my caseworker, which I didn’t think would happen. I can tell them anything and know that they will support me to do my best and have my back. They have helped me believe in myself.’