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Gloucestershire - Teens on verge of quitting told to think fruity

Gloucestershire pupils at risk of dropping out will be encouraged to take "hippo time" and develop "fruity thinking" in an attempt to keep them in education.

Local teenagers can sign up to a life-coaching scheme, Youth Enhanced Support (YES), run by the local youth service, Connexions and Prospects, which helps them to raise their confidence and self-esteem.

It includes Shut Up and Move On, which has six principles: "Change the T-shirt" (stop being the victim and take more responsibility); "Develop fruity thinking" (be more positive about yourself); "Hippo time" (bad things happen but don't wallow); "Beach ball" (there are always two sides to a situation); "Carpe diem" (make the most of opportunities); and "Ditch Doris Day" (you don't have to accept things the way they are).

Job clubs will also help young people to apply for college, apprenticeships and jobs.

Prospects' Ronnie Graham, who leads the initiative, said: "The young people who take part have often got difficult personal lives, which impacts on their education and their attitude to their prospects.

"We work with them to look for the positives and to raise their expectations. We encourage them to break down the barriers to success and to acknowledge that they have something to offer."

Pupils from Gloucestershire's hospital school will also launch their own poetry collection during Cheltenham Literature Festival this month. The children worked with author and illustrator Shoo Rayner. KM.

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