‘It’s about not giving up or tossing them to the side’

How one award-winning youth worker engages with traumatised school refusers

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Katie Mackay has seen it all: boys in gangs dealing drugs when they are barely in their teens; girls whose idea of fun involves an ecstasy pill and a litre of vodka; teenagers who fling racial abuse at people trying to help them, because that’s the example they get at home; and children who sink into a deep depression and frequently disappear from school – a place they see as part of the problem.

Mackay may have a grand-sounding title – executive for the Get Into programme at the Prince’s Trust – but she puts herself on the same level as the 30 vulnerable young people she works with at any one ...

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