Bella was 24 when she started working with a Youth Options key worker as part of our care leavers project. She needed help and support around her life skills, finances, substance misuse and mental health. 

At the start, engaging with Bella was challenging. She was very anti-authority and would frequently recount her distrust of professionals. For many months she struggled with activities, especially if they were in a group environment like joining in the weekly group meet ups.

Our team worked with Bella both 1:1 and in small groups, building up a trusting relationship and supporting her to overcome the boundaries she was facing.

Over time, Bella became more responsive to the activities and slowly become a more active member of the group. When she committed to the sessions, she was often motivational and confident in expressing her opinion.  She also began helping some of the younger members of the group at getting their points across. 

When our Care Leavers projects transition from Next Steps to Step Forward Project, Bella was an active member of the group involved in the re-naming the project and setting the new agreement. 

Bella has become an invaluable member of the group and she has even volunteered her time to assist Youth Options with the recruitment of new staff by attending a virtual session led by two applicants.   One applicant had made a very small error on one of the activities he had planned, and she responded by encouraging him.

Keep going, it’s okay to make a mistake if you try again, that’s what you guys always say to us.


Several months ago, Bella would never have imagined herself assisting in such an activity. The positive relationship built with her keyworker has been an excellent example of what can be achieved.