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Stable and Wild Leavers Stories

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

Stable and Wild Leavers Stories

June is a tough month at Stable and Wild, as we near the end of the academic year and some of our young people prepare to leave our provision and start a new chapter of their journey back into school or college.

Its also a time of reflection and immense pride as we consider how far they have come on their journey with us and they start to look forward to a future.

They know they have more tools in their toolbox to help them manage areas of their life that they have previously found challenging and they have confidence and self belief that they can approach new opportunities positively.

Here are the stories of 3 young people who are graduating the class of 2023 at Stable and Wild and a little bit about their journey so far:

Amandas story:

Low on confidence and self esteem A joined S & W in October 2021 with a request from her commissioners that we try to improve her engagement in education and work on her self belief. The aim was to enable A to achieve something before leaving education in year 12.

Starting with 6 months of 1-1 sessions we worked with A to support her in the areas that presented the most challenges to her and once she demonstrated that some of the strategies she had learned were working we progressed her into a small group to study C & G in Employability.

Over the past 18 months A has achieved almost 100% attendance on the S & W programme, demonstrating resilience and commitment to achieving some qualification to enable her to secure a place in college.

She has completed Functional Skills with us and has now come to the end of her City and Guilds qualification on Employability and Personal Development. Initially A was only forecast to complete a Certificate, but her hard work and dedication have resulted in her achieving a Diploma which is truly remarkable, given where she started at the beginning of the last academic year.

What’s more she can now go to Bedford College to complete her GCSE’s confident in her own ability to cope and succeed in this new larger learning environment.

A is currently completing some work experience which we have arranged with her to help her get used to working in new environments.

A is working towards a career in social care.


Jazmin had encountered a lot of complex changes in her life when she was referred to us in year 10. She was identified as a Child in Need and was also a looked after child.

The move to a care home had been a difficult one for J and she also had suffered from some serious mental health issues which meant that she struggled daily with high levels of anxiety and was extremely vulnerable.

Despite her personal struggles, Jazmin was always positive and keen to learn, had a good attitude to learning and high aspirations for herself, with a keen love of animals, the outdoors and horticulture in particular.

Starting in a small City and Guilds group we have observed this young woman grow in confidence and maturity over the past year. Despite huge personal struggles she has been able to reflect on her challenges and work through these by learning from her coach with the animals and this has given her the confidence to try new things and the belief that she is worthy and can succeed.

Notably she has become a role model to some of the others in the group, demonstrating kindness, empathy and commitment to learning even when faced with things she has found difficult. Others have learned from this peer support.

She has also managed to secure some summer holiday work on the farm where she studies, to give her some income and responsibility over the summer before returning to 6th form in September.

She is committed to a future in horticulture and our flowers and vegetables have all benefitted from her passion and natural ability in this area – she has even rescued a couple of our coach’s house plants!


Ajay was referred to us in September 2022.

In the words of his school:.

A is at risk of permanent exclusion as his ADHD has significant impact on his learning and education. Mainstream school, on a full time basis, is not suitable for A and parents/ professionals are in agreement.

A has high activity levels, he is restless and/or impulsive. He is easily excited and finds it difficult to be quiet for anything longer than 5 minutes at a time.

He has difficulty focusing on a task. He finds it difficult to settle to an activity and can only maintain concentration for short periods of time.

He engages in work avoidance tactics, is unable to listen and will distract others. He has low self-esteem and is very negative about himself. A’s self-esteem is severely impacted by his needs J requires lots of support with his anger and has a strong sense of injustice.A is working significantly behind his peers and struggles to articulate this thoughts and feelings to others.

Once individuals build a strong relationship with A he is so caring, thoughtful and kind to others close to him. He expresses a keen interest in sports and is currently working as a mentor to others younger.A is very good at boxing and other sport and enjoys working with animals. A is very close with his family and has an excellent relationship with his mother and father and siblings.

A started on a 1:1 programme with us and in the words of his coach was “a verbal menace!” he used threatening language to his coaches and peers, but never to the animals.

He maintained he didn’t want to be at Stable and Wild and did walk out of sessions on a couple of occasions and caused some disruption in the class sessions.

Through the continued support and patience of his coach he managed to keep attending . Working with the animals enabled A to build his confidence, reflect on the consequences of his behaviour and deploy different strategies to manage his frustrations.

His coach reflects …… “a major pivotal point for A was his relationship with Magic the horse and the pigs. Working with them enabled him to develop confidence and trust. By seeing his progression, development of these relationships he was really able to have confidence in himself to achieve.”

In time A was able to transfer across to a City and Guilds Employability Qualification as part of a small group.

1-1 support continued for a while to aid the move across to a group programme for a full day and once J was established with the group this support stopped.

As we come to the end of the academic year A has achieved his certificate in Employability and Personal Development and is returning back to school full time.

A remarkable achievement for this young person and testimony to his character and commitment to learning that he is able to reflect on his time with Stable and Wild positively and feel confident about his next steps in education.

We hope that A will return as a mentor to other students in the future who may be finding education challenging.

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