By the Bridge foster child, L, recently achieved her Bronze Arts Award managed by the Trinity College London for a rap she produced. She also designed the artwork for the album cover with ‘Graffiti Artist.’
Tracy Wright, Education Advisor and Get-a-Lifestyle Consultant said:
“L moved in with her By the Bridge foster family in June 2015. She was at risk of child sexual exploitation; self-harmed and wasn’t in school. From the first time I met her it was clear she loved music and is especially interested in rap music.
“We visited a local Education provision with her Social Worker, but L stated that she was not going to attend. She was concerned that she would get in with the wrong crowd and get into trouble. She had settled really well with her foster family and she was worried that she would have to move on again. L was so anxious that everyone agreed that we would be setting her up to fail if she went there, so it was back to the drawing board!
“It was apparent that we needed to build her confidence and self-esteem before we could consider her going to school. L enjoyed doing anything at home so we signed her up to do her Get-a-Lifestyle Skills Award. She completed it with ease and really enjoyed receiving her certificates and her voucher. We also worked with her on a one-to-one basis regarding CSE.
“It soon became apparent that L loved learning and was very able. We constantly liaised with ‘Virtual School’ who agreed to fund a tutor to work with L on a one-to-one basis at home, again she excelled. We also found a local ‘Music Centre’ who did one-to-one work with young people who were out of Education. ‘Virtual School’ also agreed to pay for this out of L’s Pupil Premium Plus. L went every week for 6 weeks, during this time she produced an amazing rap. There was not a dry eye in the room when we listened to it. L used this as part of her Bronze Arts Award, again passing it effortlessly. The Arts Award is managed by Trinity College London in association with Arts Council England. The award is a personal learning programme which develops and assesses both arts-related and transferable skills, such as creativity, communication, planning and teamwork. We also used funding available to pay for L to have a session with ‘Graffiti Artist’ to design her CD sleeve. L had to design it and then the ‘Graffiti Artist’ taught her how to use the spray cans correctly so she could spray it onto a graffiti wall.
“During this time her foster parents have been so supportive and have worked tirelessly with her to build her self-esteem, working at her pace. L is no longer at immediate risk of CSE and is no longer self-harming. She has become confident enough to attend college to do a Youth Skills Course and also goes to Army Cadets where she is doing her Duke of Edinburgh Award. L is now applying to do a Health & Social Care course in September.
“L has made tremendous progress and we are extremely proud of her.”