The mother of a Doncaster teenager with cerebral palsy has been given new hope for his future, thanks to an innovative new course.
Before taking part in the Junior PCSO scheme for young people with disabilities, Ethan Osbourne, 15, was a withdrawn teenager whose only positive social interactions were with members of his family.
But since the teenager completed the 12 week course, mum Kerry, says Ethan is now a changed person who she can see having a bright future for the first time.
“He felt like he was on a par with his peers for the first time, which is so important,” said Kerry, of Elm Road in Skellow.
The 37-year-old added: “Ethan was very behind before, but his social skills and his level of understanding has come on so much.”
“He’s kept in touch with the friends he made on the course, and now he’s always on Facebook talking to people. I couldn’t see him going to university before, but I can now. This has given me and Ethan new hope for the future.”
Mum of three, Kerry, also cites the L.A.D.D.E.R group, which caters for young people with disabilities
The course is the first of its kind in the region run by South Yorkshire Police, working with St. Leger Homes, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and Doncaster Council and was aimed at young people aged between nine and 19-years-old who have physical and mental disabilities as well as learning difficulties.
People enrolled on the course learnt about environment, safety, community engagement and crime and consequences, as well as learning the roles and responsibilities of Police Officers and Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in the community.
PC Maxine Farrell, who ran the course, said: “The 14 young people started off quite shy and some lacking confidence.”
“However throughout the scheme the young people grew in assertiveness, confidence and their self esteem flourished. I witnessed social skills, communication and friendships grow and all the young people displayed commitment and determination in completing the 12 week programme.”
A further scheme is planned for October this year, due to the positive progress made by many who took part in the course.