This blog will be my final blog as Head Boy for New Bridge and I can say it’s been a heck of a ride! I’m going to tell you how I’ve fought to get to where I am today.
In 2004 I started at a school in Droylsden where I lived, a community facing struggles of its own. Two years later I was diagnosed with autism and had behavioural issues. I had gait problems and struggled to walk and I even got bullied and tormented for the way I walked. I struggled with school so in Year 4 I was home schooled for 3 months until I moved to another primary school where again I failed to succeed. I was always told I’d never succeed, I’d never gain GCSEs or do things I want to do. I used to get into fights and hurt people and after 2 years I left my second primary school to be home schooled for a year.
I didn’t have the easiest of starts to education but if people had had more understanding of autism I might have been helped. I always struggled with my behaviour and I grew up without friends around me although I always had my family. I started at New Bridge in 2012, my last chance to set my life up for the future. 3 months later when things were getting back on track I had the news that my Grandad had passed away due to cancer which crumbled me. It brought back all those behaviour problems, I was more aggressive and abusive.
It wasn’t too long before I spoke to Mrs Tootill and told her I wanted to join Activ8. She thought about it and went away to speak to the school governors to see if a Year 8 who was struggling so much with behaviour could join the pathway part-time. The rest, as they say, is History! A few years went by and I became more mature and behaved better. In January 2016 I started to become depressed and felt guilty about the things I done in the past and felt I was a burden on everybody. Then things got worse when I lost my Grandma due to illness. At this point I felt I couldn’t take it anymore but I didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t want to upset my family.
My final year at New Bridge got off to a great start when I became top of the school with my Head Boy role and a leader for Activ8 and I was looked up to. I still had all the depression on me though and it got worse after months until it all came to a head on a rugby pitch and a week later I was referred to a mental health clinic to get some help. Through everything I’ve been through, there was one thing I didn’t do… and that’s talking. Luke Ambler came in and did a presentation for the students about Andy’s Man Club which was later set up at New Bridge. I attended and still do the sessions which make me happier, I opened up more and started to become happier in myself! It saved me from where I was and I couldn’t be more grateful to the group.
So this what New Bridge has helped me with – they made me the person I am today. I’d like to thank Mr Greenway, Mr Lawrence, Mrs Tootill, Mr Holban, Mr Hickie and all the boys in Activ8, I’d do it again in heartbeat. In Year 11 Mr Fairest, Ms Bradley, Miss Stansfield and Mrs Brierley for putting up with my behaviour and holding me back from any shenanigans. And Mr Howard, Mrs Soltyk, Mrs Hollinworth, Mrs Hignett, Mr Valentine, Mr Oughton, Miss Snooks and of course Jane in the office.
That’s it from me, thank you every week for reading my blogs. Oldham Sixth Form here I come!
Thank you and goodbye,
Your Head Boy, Jack