Pick Your Own (PYO) is a Community Interest Company offering free and low cost 1:1 support for isolated, withdrawn or stuck young people aged 13-21 yrs in Brighton & Hove. It is delivered by Elizabeth who has 25+ years of experience in education, SEN and wellbeing, including life as a teacher, SENCO, Head teacher, mentor, coach, an SEN and wellbeing manager in two local authorities and Young Carers team manager. She holds an enhanced DBS certificate. She is committed to using her skills, knowledge and experience to reach out to young people who don't always find it easy to get what they need to feel happy and supported. She wants to help young people to feel that they are strong, clever, funny and resourceful and to be able to use these parts of themselves to get back on their feet.
PYO provides a bespoke package of coaching, mentoring and befriending, offering neutral, non-clinical provision as an alternative to more formal support that many young people and families find doesn’t work for them and isn't easily available. It supports quieter young people who are less visible and not being noticed through more outward behaviour but who are, nevertheless, vulnerable and at risk of social exclusion and poor emotional health and wellbeing without sensitive, personalized intervention.
PYO supports young people at their chosen space and pace, with person-centred, strengths-based support. It connects virtually via mediums that the young person is comfortable with and face to face, with a COVID safe approach, including gardens, parks and outdoor cafes, as appropriate. It understands that a trusting and comfortable relationship needs time.
PYO works collaboratively with young people listening to their best hopes and working alongside them to facilitate these hopes through social, emotional and practical support.
If interested, PYO offers connectivity to local wellbeing enhancing activities including sport, art and craft to support the young person engage and experience the known physical and mental benefits of such activity, to develop their social confidence, build skills, nurture interests and passions and build a social network. The project is called Pick Your Own because young people choose what interests and activities they would like to try out.
Importantly, Pick Your Own recognises how difficult it is to try something new and to meet new people so PYO makes introductions to local activity providers and supports young people's participation, relationship building and anxiety management through accompanying them over several sessions.
Pick Your Own also offers support for learning confidence and motivation with 1:1 interest based and non-formal learning projects and is a registered centre for AQA Unit Awards. 'UAS is shown to motivate, encourage, engage, support and raise self esteem and can reward achievement which might otherwise go unrecognised, eg small steps or non-mainstream subjects.'