Hadyn Allenís school days a lesson for all

 Hadyn Allenís school days a lesson for all Image

A Sheffield boy, who struggled to cope at school and often stayed away, now looks forward to working there every day.

Hadyn Allen is the first to admit he never imagined returning to Chaucer School in Parson Cross but the 18-year-old, from Firth Park, has just secured a full time position with the school’s maintenance team.

When he was a student at Chaucer, exclusion was a real possibility for Hadyn, until forward thinking staff at the school decided to offer him the chance to shadow the maintenance crew.  And to his surprise, he found his vocation and slowly but surely began to turn his life around: 

“To be honest I found school hard,” he says:  “I fully expected to leave without any qualifications and end up with no prospects and a life on benefits. But when the school gave me the chance to be part of the maintenance team I realised that the staff were genuinely giving me a lot of support.  They cared about me.  So I thought it was time I gave something back and began attending more regularly and engaging in all my classes.”

Hadyn particularly enjoyed helping out with the skills initiatives the school is running with our support.  These include construction, hair and beauty, horticulture training and cycle maintenance. His commitment opened the door to some accredited horticultural training and eventually a recently completed two year apprenticeship in facilities management.

Supporting educational and training projects - such as those taking place at Chaucer - is a key element our programme to help create apprenticeship and job opportunities.  

Steve Middleton, Facilities Manager at Chaucer School, added:  “Hadyn’s attendance was as low as 30% at times and he was on the verge of being permanently excluded.  We put him with the maintenance team to see if something different to the classroom environment might help him re-focus. And it worked.  Within a few weeks he was a different person.  In all my years in education I have never seen such a transformation.  We got him enrolled on a horticulture course with SHEAF vocational training and he was top of the class.  Then, through the Skills Made Easy initiative he enrolled on his apprenticeship and just went from strength to strength eventually becoming an Apprenticeship Ambassador. He is now a truly valued member of the team here, not only for his work but the role he plays as a mentor to other pupils who find it difficult to settle into school life.”

John Clephan, Project Director with SHC, said:  “The core role of the housing company is to build good quality housing for the people of Sheffield but along the way, we want to invest in communities and individuals to help change lives for the better. If our support for Chaucer School has in any way helped Hadyn and other students to secure themselves better futures, then we can take pride in the work which is being done across the city.”

Author: Sheffield Housing Company 18.07.17

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