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For one pupil, Myles, the Dot Com programme helped him turn his life around following his dad’s death. Myles believes the programme stopped him from being lured into gang culture.
When the programme was introduced, Myles was at risk of permanent exclusion and – in his own words – was angry and behaving badly. The programme was used with Myles and his mum at home, helping Myles develop the tools, resilience and life skills he needed to deal with the shock and trauma of bereavement.
Within a year, Myles was on the school council and he now says that he doesn’t see the point of gangs and that ‘people should be able to live in their own area peacefully and calmly and not worry about the threat of violence from gangs’.
Myles has now successfully made the transition to secondary school and continues to be an ambassador for the Dot Com programme. His mum, who gave permission for her family’s story to be told, says ‘Dot Com saved my son’.
Teachers found that, after he started the Dot Com programme, he was able to tell them about his feelings and his behaviour improved significantly.
Theo said ‘the programme is a really good thing and I think lots of other children should do it because before that nobody really knew why I got angry and lost my temper. But then I got the confidence to speak up when I did the journal, which I found really helpful. The most important thing I have learned is to treat others as you would like to be treated’.