‘I wouldn’t be ready for everything without Jordan’

Jacob was very apprehensive about his move to secondary school, fearing the change of scenery and missing the friends he had made at primary school.

He was feeling anxious and uncomfortable and was struggling to adapt to his new surroundings at Acklam Grange. This is where MFC Foundation came in, thanks to the Stepping Up programme.

“I started working with Jacob in September,” said Jordan, a Stepping Up Coach and mentor for MFC Foundation.

“Jacob had just transitioned from primary school, where he was identified as a pupil that might struggle with the change and getting used to his new environment.

“I’m here to mentor him and guide him through that transition period as best I can.”

Stepping Up is a mentoring programme that helps children struggling with the move from primary to secondary education. The main objectives are to prepare children for the social and emotional aspects of transition through a programme that uses the inspirational draw of a professional football club, and the staff team associated to it.

Jordan and Jacob have worked closely together since he joined the school in September, developing a close bond.

“I wouldn’t be ready for everything without Jordan,” Jacob said.

“I can’t handle change, and if I get worried it’s because of change. If you have any worries and you don’t want to tell your friends, you can turn to your mentor and tell them.”

“I’ve seen a lot of change in Jacob, he’s really outspoken and a bubbly character,” Jordan added.

“He always comes up to say ‘Hi’, asking me how I am and ask about how he’s doing. I’ve just seen a lot of change in his confidence around school and his ability to deal with change which is really good to see.

MFC Foundation have delivered the Stepping Up programme in a number of secondary schools throughout Teesside, with funding coming from organisations such as Middlesbrough Council, Redcar & Cleveland Council, Middlesbrough Achievement Partnership (MAP), the Premier League and the EFL (English Football League) Trust.

Acklam Grange was one of the original schools to include the programme within the school, and even have a designated MFC Foundation Classroom connected to the library, which is painted red and white, and includes top-of-the-range artificial turf on the floor, kindly fitted by STM (Synthetic Turf Management).

“The connection between the Foundation and the school is really important, it’s something that has grown over the last few years.

“Acklam Grange has been part of the Stepping Up programme, our ambitions are match, which is why the partnership goes hand-in-hand. Our aim is to ensure every child’s transition gets smoother.”

For more information about our Stepping Up programme, just click here.