Evaluations & Case Studies



Case Studies

- Case study “A”.

Upon our first meeting, A appeared quite shy and reserved, not speaking much. It came to my attention that A had not attended school for nearly 2 years. This absence was partly due to lockdown, as well as the challenge of transitioning from primary school in year 5 to secondary school in year 7.

A is an exceptionally polite young man who consistently demonstrates gratitude and respect. His primary issue revolved around his school attendance. During our meetings, I observed certain traits in A that might suggest autism or social anxiety. I assisted his mother in applying for an Education, Health, and Care (EHC) assessment to provide both the school and her with a better understanding of A’s needs. The application is currently pending, but in the meantime, I have been able to motivate A to attend brief sessions at school.

Initially, he was resistant and experienced panic attacks. However, we persevered, taking small steps. We began by conducting our one-hour sessions on the school premises, allowing him to become accustomed to the environment and the idea of attending school.

Over the past four weeks, A has made remarkable progress. He now attends school independently and has gradually increased his daily attendance from 1 hour to 4.5 days a week, spanning from 9 am to 1 pm.

In the last six months, A has made significant positive strides. Before our engagement, his mother struggled immensely to get him to attend school and even faced potential legal action. Now, he willingly participates in small group sessions on a part-time basis, and A himself is thrilled to be attending, gaining confidence with each passing day.

A and mum successfully gained the EHC and are on track with going forward positively.

- Case study “B”.

B was referred to us by Youth Justice Services (YJS), being described as one of their highest-risk young people and someone who was not engaging with any services. It was markedly clear from reading the referral that B, at the age of 16, was already heavily involved in criminality and was in an extremely dangerous and vulnerable position. B was at risk of custody if he continued to offend and not comply with the community orders he was placed on.

B was living in a care home out of his local area and was very well known by the police and many other services. He had been under YJS since his early teens, displaying offending behaviours such as burglary, car crime, criminal damage, possession of offensive weapons and bladed articles etc. B had been arrested carrying weapons (hammers, knives, hatchets) on several occasions – B had also made disclosures to care staff regarding carrying and using weapons as everyday life. B also disclosed that he smoked cannabis daily (up to £60 per day), but there was concern that he was potentially taking other substances also. There were significant concerns regarding B drug dealing, not only in the local community but also involvement in county lines and gangs. At the beginning of 2019, B had handed himself into a police station, over 200 miles away from where he lived and said that he had been kidnapped and had been held against his will. The Police already had intelligence at that time, linking B to county lines in other areas.

An initial meeting took place at B’s care home placement. On arrival, staff at the residence said that we would be lucky to get him to come down from his room and they would be very surprised if he were to speak to us and engage with the service, as he didn’t engage with any other services. To everyone’s surprise, however, B came down to talk to us. B seemed very sceptical about our service and sat with his hood up, little to no eye contact, did not talk with any confidence and appeared tired and withdrawn. I began by explaining the service to him and my background that led me to be a Mentor with CELLS. This initial meeting lasted around an hour and when I asked if he would be interested in engaging with me and the service he said yes. The care staff in the house commented as I was leaving that they were all shocked that he engaged with us for that length of time and that he had agreed to meet again.

Over the first few meetings I slowly built up a trusting relationship with B and we talked more and more about situations that B had experienced and discussed how he really felt about them. He began to speak more openly and honestly during each session, giving B a safe space to talk about anything that he wanted.

B was then presented with an opportunity to start an apprenticeship with National Rail, but he would have to supply a clean drug test. This was a barrier to B’s progression as even though he had now stopped supplying drugs and had removed himself from that world, he still smoked a significant amount of cannabis. We discussed why he smoked cannabis and what he got out of it. We talked about the positive and negative aspects of cannabis and through our conversations, B said himself that he felt it did not serve him anymore and he wanted to stop. Again, within a short period, B applied these changes to his life and has now tested clear for all illegal substances. This meant that he was able to start his apprenticeship, once his building placement was complete.

- Case study “C”.

C got referred to the CELLS project due to his worrying behaviour and the peer group he was hanging around with. He had been attacked on a couple of occasions by a group of lads in his area and was carrying a knife with him. C was at risk of CCE and had confided in professionals that he was being exploited. When I started mentoring C we went over his behaviour and how we could help change this to be more positive. C was smoking weed all the time and I went over the effect this will have on him over the long term, we went over the worksheets that CELLS provide and he was starting to change his behaviour.

Workshops C and I covered:

Drugs and alcohol

Grooming and CCE

Knife Crime


We supported C and his family to secure emergency accommodation due to C being a victim of exploitation and his family being targeted by the perpetrators. With C moving out of the area and moving to a new school this will help him move forward with his life. C and his mentor have built an excellent professional rapport and C enjoys having a safe person to confide in.  CELLS are still supporting C whilst the family is waiting to secure accommodation.

- Case study “D”.

D was referred to The CELLS Project over his negative peer associations and with the concern of him being exploited.

When I first started mentoring D he was very quiet and would not engage much with any of the worksheets that I was talking to him about. He struggled to engage in conversation and would often not look at me directly when talking.  Over time he started to engage more and would confidently get involved in discussions about CCE and crime. D’s main aim was to find employment, as he wanted to help his mum financially.

CELLS helped D with this and helped him get a job to gain work experience and D loved this and is still working for the company to this day, he wants to set up his own business in the future. I told him this was a great idea and he could do it if he stayed out of trouble and worked hard.

My CELLS Journey