Oasis Youth Service workers are attached to two North London hospitals and are called to support young people arriving at A&E due to violent assault or self-harm.
Tyler (name changed to protect privacy) was one such young man. Aged 15, he arrived in A & E in July last year seemingly with a medical complaint.
The on-duty consultant spoke to him at length and learned that he had been assaulted by members of a local gang twice in January and February of 2019 and had subsequently not left the house for fear of further gang violence. Only when his father was able to drive him, did he leave the house to go to church or visit a friend.
The young man disclosed he had missed six months of school. He was also suffering from weight gain and had lost all hope for his future. The hospital referred Tyler to the Oasis Youth Service (OYS) and Matt, a trained mental health youth worker, arranged to meet him at home.
OYS worked with Tyler to rebuild his confidence in gradual steps, first taking short trips out to local parks and then accompanying him on various activities, such as dog walking.
Matt and his team, supported Tyler and his family in their meetings with the Education Welfare Officer to find a new educational placement where he could feel confident.
Tyler has now been signed off from OYS. He returned to school and despite missing so much education, he gained several GCSEs. He began eating healthily and attending the gym regularly and both his fitness and his confidence have improved. He has been accepted into a sixth-form college and is keen to forge a career as a nurse or police officer.
Says Youth Worker Matt, ‘Tyler’s case highlights the fact that when clinical staff are able to really communicate with their patients and ask the right questions, underlying concerns can be addressed. This lad is such a lovely young man, it was a shame that he lost so many months of his young life to the fear of gang violence but now he really has a really bright future ahead of him.’