Evidence | February 21st, 2020
We often get letters from our referrers which remind us why we do what we do. So we thought we'd share them with you too. Here's one -
"I am the school counsellor here and over the past year, I have referred several students to Upside.
Organisations such as Upside are very important in our community. Providing proactive support to youth at this critical time in their development is key to their present well-being and future prospects, and agencies who connect whānau with resources in their community help build stronger support networks.
I see many students who feel disconnected and don’t perceive their life as having much meaning or joy. They may be dealing with the impacts of issues in their wider family, as well as anxiety and depression. Having a mentor commit to spending significant time one-to-one with them makes a huge difference. I have seen very encouraging changes in the students who have been meeting with an Upside mentor.
This programme helps give students a sense of connection and belonging, and an experience of being cared for and enjoyed. The meetings and activities give the students things to look forward to each week, which helps those who struggle with feeling purposeless and low.
One of my clients who had told me before her Upside referral that she “just wanted to be a kid sometimes”, told me after a few meetings with her new mentor, “I just feel like I’ve got colour in my life again.”
I appreciate the time and care taken by Upside to match mentors with young people, their willingness to work alongside whānau and us at school, and their openness to feedback.
We very much value the Upside programme."