We are committed to our belief that every young person can achieve their potential in the right environment.
Don’t take our word for it: through our alternative education centre and our projects, we have the stories and the stats to prove it.
MAP student Dylan attends the centre three days a week. The 13-year-old , who is diagnosed with autism, is a great learner and passionate about sport particularly rugby – and enjoys playing for Sale Sharks.
Here he tells us about his experience of mainstream schooling and how working with MAP has helped him to understand his own learning differences and how to control his behaviours – we are very proud of him and how he is shining at MAP.
“I have never felt that I have fitted in at school. The amount of people in the class was always a struggle for me. I felt like if I did not understand something, I could not say anything as I didn’t want to embarrass myself and get it wrong and look stupid. So, I just didn’t ask and would get angry and frustrated about it. Then I would start to mess around, talking, being noisy and making stupid comments. My friends thought that it was funny, but I would get kicked out of the class and sent to isolation or student services and that didn’t help me. Eventually, I just used to walk out and go home.
“I have always enjoyed PE – especially rugby – but because I messed around in class I was told that I was not allowed to play. So, I ended up getting into fights in school – people would taunt me and I would react. I started to leave school every day.
“Since being at MAP this has all changed. I get the train from Wilmslow to Stockport to attend and I enjoy the sports and activities – not just sitting at a desk. It helps with my concentration when we are doing desk work.
“I also enjoy science and the projects that we do and MAP has helped me to realise that sport really helps me – so I go to the gym a lot and I want to be a personal trainer.
“I feel comfortable at MAP, I can be myself, I am better at home with my family when I come here and I am gaining the qualifications that I need.”
Former students and now volunteer at MAP, Sydney, is a shining example of how you can turn your life around with the right plan, encouragement and support.
The 16-year-old came to MAP for 18 months after being referred due to getting in trouble with the police. Now she attends college and volunteers for MAP, as well as wanting to open up her own chain of gyms.
Sydney has an entrepreneurial flare as well as being very empathetic – a great influence on our new students as she has been in their shoes.
Here she tells us about her journey that led her to MAP and how she wants to use her love of sport for good.
“I started misbehaving when I was about 13, I was going out and getting arrested, fighting, and taking drugs. I got thrown out of school and restorative justice referred me to Louise. This was a massive wake up call for me and MAP has been a big influence on changing my life around.
“School was always difficult for me – and I used to act out. I really like learning, but I never fitted in at school. Now I have figured out the best way for me to learn, with the help of MAP, and what can trigger my behaviours.
“I have sensory issues – and don’t like to be around crowds or in groups and college have been good to me – if I get stressed in the classroom – I can leave the room without being told off. I can also put my headphones in if I don’t like the noise.
“School didn’t understand me. Now I feel that I have been accepted that I am different and I accept it as well.
“I still struggle sometimes because I have to live by my routine, and I need to know what is going to happen before it happens – but I have a focus and once I do – I give something my all. I have always been sporty and I have always liked helping people – so I want to own my own chain of gyms as exercise is so important to mental health as well as fitness. I think every school should have daily morning exercises and not see sports as more of an extracurricular activity – and I would like to lead a project to see this happen.”