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Dacorum Education Support Centre

Dacorum Education Support Centre

Prince’s Trust Educational Achiever Awards

Ella has won!

Daniella Williams (Ella) joined Dacorum Education Support Centre in Year 10, having struggled in mainstream school and had lost any trust in education. She was struggling with problems at home and hated being in school.

Ella’s attendance was erratic and she struggled using public transport. When she joined DESC, we rarely saw her and when we did, she made it very clear how unhappy she was. She was very defensive and defiant towards staff which made it difficult to support her. She was easily led by other students and would often disappear to avoid lessons.

Ella joined the Prince’s Trust programme at DESC and at the start, she displayed the same behaviour. She gradually realised that it suited her and with the added support with her link mentor and lots of reassurance from us, she started to attend more. She started to enjoy the activities, debates, team work and she started to produce a lovely portfolio of work.

By Year 11, her attendance improved, even during the lockdown caused by Covid and Ella started to see that staff were on her side and she gradually enjoyed school more. She made friends and her work started to improve. Her confidence, self-esteem improved and she achieved a L1 Award. We were very proud of her; her journey was difficult but with the support she needed, she learnt to trust and she passed the qualifications needed to get into college.

I entered Ella into the Educational Achievers Award, but I didn’t hear back for ages. By then, Ella had started Health and Social Care at College, travelling by bus and got herself a part time job in Boots. Her Mum and staff were so proud of her.

I finally got an email to tell me that Ella had won!  She had won the national Prince’s Trust Educational Achiever of the year awards.

As you can imagine, we were ecstatic and so was Ella and her Mum when we finally told her. She now has a brilliant journey ahead of her. She has already been approached by the Prince’s Trust and we look forward to the ceremony ahead to celebrate her win.

Well done to Ella, she deserves to win and we are so glad that we were on that journey with her.

Julie Wilcox and Team.