Callum was born prematurely with a complex blood disorder and placed into foster care shortly after his birth. Treatment involved a lot of travel and ruled out the possibility of medicating his ADHD.

As a result, Callum suffered at school: he was disruptive, lacked confidence and was isolated from his peers.

I couldn't make friends and that felt bad. I'd fight with people at school, be rude; I ended up not respecting school or anyone there.

Despite moving primary schools and taking part in a number of intervention programmes, nothing changed. It was crunch time and with Callum refusing to go school, his adoptive mother contacted the school’s xl programme.

Callum agreed to attend and it was there that he started to learn how to manage his emotions and work with others. Leading by example and actively taking part in units like Healthy Eating and Money Management, Callum became a valuable member of the xl team and earned his xl Award and first ever academic qualification: his Level 1 Certificate. 

Doing the xl Award has been sound. Getting my Level 1 was awesome.

The xl club was the catalyst Callum had needed. He now has a firm foothold in education and feels all the benefits that go with it. 

His outlook on life and has completely changed and in his final GCSE year, his attendance rose to 95 per cent. Callum was recently diagnosed with autism and has been a great help to his mum as she receives treatment for breast cancer. He’s started sixth form and attended one of our job fairs which confirmed tohim his choice of career.

Callum is a credit to his family, his school, the xl programme and most importantly, to himself.