Building positive wellbeing – Rayanah’s journey to a positive sense of self

  • Rayanah had low attendance, was behind in maths and English and was identified as ‘at risk’ in emotional wellbeing
  • She was excited to join the West London Zone programme but was often very hard on herself, finding it difficult to remain positive
  • As she progressed through the West London Zone programme, she improved her attendance and grades and we are excited to see what she achieves next

When projects or tasks don’t go exactly as planned, it can affect our confidence and our ability to keep trying. This was the case for Rayanah, who found it difficult to believe in herself, often struggling emotionally, and as a result, fell behind in class. Additionally, after spending four months abroad following the pandemic-related lockdown, her attendance was at 37.6%. Having missed half of Year 1, she was below age-related expectations in literacy and numeracy, which was further impacting her confidence. Her teachers recognised that she was at the tipping point of need, and might benefit from the West London Zone programme.

Rayanah was excited to join the programme and work with Link Worker, Robyn, who would be her champion, mentor, and trusted adult during the two years. Robyn spent time getting to know Rayanah and her mother, finding out more about where she needed support and building a picture of what her tailored support plan would look like. Robyn noticed that Rayanah struggled to read and write legibly, and would become distressed if things weren’t perfect. After understanding this, Robyn’s main aims for Rayanah were to improve her academic attainment, build up her confidence and encourage her emotional resilience. 

Delivering support with our Delivery Partners

To begin with, Robyn organised for Rayanah to attend reading support groups with our Delivery Partner, Bookmark Reading. During these sessions, Rayanah and her Bookmark volunteer, Sam, would read together and play games. She worked with Sam throughout the school year and Robyn noticed her reading improving greatly. Along with this literary support, Rayanah also took part in maths one-to-one tutoring with Tutors Green for a term.

“She’s come along so far! We moved up to yellow-banded books which she now reads very quickly. When I started, we spent a lot more time playing games as she found reading too taxing and now, we mostly read.” Sam, Bookmark Reading volunteer

To encourage Rayanah to build her confidence and emotional resilience, she then linked her with Kite Studios, which provides art therapy workshops after school. When she first joined, Rayanah would become very upset if she made a mistake, or if she didn’t have time to finish her artwork. She would be hard on herself and find it difficult to regulate her emotions and enjoy the rest of the session. Robyn worked alongside the Kite Studios facilitators to join forces; during her one-to-ones with Rayanah, they would practise breathing exercises and positive affirmations. This then slowly fed into her sessions at Kite Studios, where she eventually learnt to keep trying with her art projects, even if they weren't quite right. 

Rayanah received academic support from WLZ Delivery Partners, Tutors Green and Bookmark Reading

Building relationships with others – and herself

To further improve her confidence and peer relationships, Rayanah joined Link Work Support programme, Pyramid, an evidence-based programme designed to improve confidence, teamwork and coping skills through activities like cooking and crafting.

While working with her peers was great for Rayanah’s growth journey, one-to-one time with Robyn was also crucial in helping her develop a positive sense of self. In this space, she had the opportunity to talk about her feelings and develop confidence in using positive affirmations. They would also use this time to practise spelling words to further support Rayanah’s writing development.

Kite Studios helps young people to build their teamwork and communication skills

Joined up support

While working with Rayanah during school, Robyn also worked closely with Rayanah’s mother throughout her first year on the programme. Robyn linked her to Campden Charities, a local organisation that provides families with grants toward education, childcare costs and household goods. Rayanah also attended a WLZ holiday gardening activity at W11 Lancaster West Community Gardens. 

Rayanah made exceptional progress on the West London Zone programme. Her attendance went back up to 92.9%. She reached age-related expectations in reading and maths, and she is no longer at risk of poor emotional wellbeing. In her second year of the programme, we are excited to see what she will achieve as she continues to develop her writing and confidence.

 “You are special to me, the most special person to me. You always make me feel happy when I am with you.”                                                                    Rayanah to her Link Worker, Robyn


together, every child and young person can flourish.