Aged 11, Emma experienced such anxiety about the transition from primary to secondary school that she was terrified even walking through the doors of her new school. Spending time in a nurture group helped her regain her resilience.
Nurture groups are small groups run in schools to support children like Emma who, for a variety of reasons, are having trouble accessing their education. The Nurture Group Network invited us to make portraits of three young adults who had used the groups during high school: Connah is autistic, and was being labelled as ‘naughty’, Emma developed intense anxiety, Shane had a very troubled childhood - just his name was enough to put teachers on guard for his behaviour.
By focussing closely on Connah, Emma and Shane’s stories; specifically on their education - the difficulties, the time spent in nurture groups, and the outcomes - we get a glimpse into a transformative time in their lives, and feel a moment of connection.
We’d like to thank Connah Strong, Emma Canavan and Shane Seddon for allowing us into their lives. Also a special thank you to Yvonne Monaghan at The Nurture Group Network (who found them and persuaded them to talk to us), and to Kevin Kibble and Adam O’Riley also at NGN for giving us the opportunity.