Safe Hands – The Core Programme

“The children have been asking if you would be returning soon…
The children enjoyed their weekly sessions and a number of parents commented on seeing their child using the shakers as a strategy for calming down; I’m sure they will be excited to hear you are returning”

Assistant Head, Woden Primary School

“This is fantastic!! It has really highlighted the issues and thoughts of the girls you engaged and given them the opportunity to share their feelings and reflect on their future choices and potential consequences.”

Partnership Manager, City of Wolverhampton Council

Safe Hands Programme (2019 and ongoing)

Girls aged 10 to 15 years from primary and secondary schools took part in our Safe Hands programme.  At the end of the programme we carry out an activity called ‘Treasured moments’ which is an opportunity for the girls to provide positive feedback to the other girls in the session as well as feedback on their experience during the sessions.

“…think more highly of myself, be in less sticky situations.”

Pupil – Moseley Park School

“Made us realise our good and bad decisions and made us know our worth and not take or settle for anything less. I can get everything out without being judged”

Pupil – Coppice Performing Arts Academy

Youth Discussion Forum (2018-2020)

The Youth Discussion Forum engaged with young people primarily via workshops and assemblies during this period.  This feedback below was provided by a teacher and a lecturer at the end of the sessions.

…it was praised by our learners.  It had the bonus… of reinforcing previous learning and it was good to see learner contributions using this learning to engage in the themes… One learner said “It’s nice somebody is interested in us”.

“I was personally impressed that one learner who rarely engages, he ask [sic] me to qualify a point during the presentation and then relate it in his own way by way of giving an example.”

Lecturer in Public Services, City of Wolverhampton College

“This was a powerful session which was delivered creatively, with some humour, which meant that pupils were engaged and all were encouraged to participate. 

The content of the presentation was very thought provoking and age-appropriate and led to some very good discussion amongst pupils giving them a good opportunity to ask any questions they had. The representatives from Square Pegs Round Holes were confident and managed the pupil responses informatively. Any misconceptions that the pupils had, for example around what is and isn’t legal, were cleared ensuring that the pupils left the presentation fully informed with the facts.

As pastoral, Lead at the school, any further involvement from Square Pegs Round Holes would be gratefully received. I would fully recommend that the organisation is provided with further funding to continue with the excellent work that they are doing with young people.”

Head of Year 11 and Pastoral Lead, The King’s Church of England School

As part of the two secondary school assemblies, the pupils were asked about the issues facing young people.
In both schools, the issues mentioned most were: drugs, knives, gangs and racism
However, crime and bullying also featured as important issues in one of the schools.

Defining Me – Awards for all

A cohort of both girls and boys aged 14 to 15 years took part in the Defining Me programme.  At the end of the programme we carried out a range of activities to gauge the effectiveness of the programme. One of the activities requires pupils to produce a pledge to themselves based on their reflections of the programme.  Another is ‘Treasured moments’ where they provide positive feedback to the others in the session.

“I’d like to take the opportunity to say a huge thank you for the work you are doing with our girls at Heath Park.  I am the Executive Headteacher at Heath Park.  Staff speak very highly of the programme and the impact it is having on our girls. The opportunities you are providing for our young people to talk, listen, accept and consider the consequences of choices is incredibly powerful.” 

Mrs G Holloway, Executive Headteacher, 
Heath Park and Moseley Park Schools

“I promise myself to be resilient in whatever I do. And to be respectful”

Pupil Pledge – Heath Park School

“When I am 21 I will be finishing at university studying engineering”
– Visualising activity (When I’m 21)

Pupil Pledge – Heath Park School

“The programme was really good as we got to learn things we would never have known.
You both are kind and you always listen to our opinions”

Pupil – Heath Park School

Defining Me

Girls aged 14 to 15 years took part in this programme.  The feedback below provides reflections on the programme and the benefits gained. As well as a pledge to themselves based on what they have taken away from the programme.

“You guys have helped all of us to talk about our feelings and taught us how we should be treated and how to make the right choices, thank you”

Pupil – Colton Hills School

“… helped us be more open with each other and have deeper convos about modern topics”

Pupil – Moseley Park School

“The work carried out by Angela and Debbie was second to none.  The impact they had on the girls was phenomenal… from start to finish the girls were engaged. After the last session, one of the girls came to see me to let me know that through being part of Square Pegs and sharing the problems and issues that they had all faced together it had made them come to realise that they all needed to support each other. I know that without Angela and Debbie delivering the workshops and allowing these vulnerable girls to realise that they are special and that they are important we would never have got these girls back on track.”

Senior Pastoral Manager – Moseley Park School

Girls Allowed – I Define Me

Girls aged 8 to 15 years took part in this programme.  The feedback below is provided from a range of sources:

“I think this has helped me to realise not everything is about arguing and fighting. Some things you just have to talk out – thanks xx”

Pupil Pledge – The King’s Church of England School

All the sessions delivered to our pupils have been very powerful and an invaluable source of information. Pupils have responded much more positively as it has been an outside agency delivering the sessions rather than a school teacher. As Pastoral Lead at the school, any further involvement from Square Pegs Round Holes would be gratefully received. I would fully recommend that the organisation is provided with further funding to continue with the excellent work that they are doing with young people.”

Head of Year 11 & Pastoral Lead – The King’s Church of England School

Pathway to Support

One parent, in particular, welcomed the opportunity to discuss at length and in-depth the impact of her daughter moving from primary to secondary school and how she could develop strategies to support the transition to the secondary phase.

Tastes of Wolverhampton

At the end of the sessions participants provided feedback about the events, the food and the concept:

Wolverhampton Chronicle – February 16 2017

Development of a Youth Discussion Forum (YDF) for Wolverhampton

The following feedback was provided throughout the life of the project:

“Thank you for hosting me last month, it was great to meet the young people and hear how passionate they are about the things that are most important to them… I look forward to being involved with Square Pegs Round Holes in the future”

Pat McFadden MP letter to Square Pegs Round Holes – 15 February 2018

These are a selection of the issues raised by some of the young people who are members of the YDF, set out in no order of priority:

  • Mental health and the particular issues young people face in relation to access to services and support. General health and the NHS. Long, unacceptable delays in accessing services
  • Housing services for care leavers. The lack of affordable housing and the cost of hostel accommodation.
  • Corporate parenting. Issues around accountability and evidence of activity
  • Employability and in particular the issue of difficulties of securing employment with a record of previous convictions.
  • Unemployment and the benefits regime. The complexities of the benefits regime and the sanctions received.  Some young people are not taking up their benefit entitlement because of this
  • Lack of opportunities and/or support for young entrepreneurs
  • Isolation of young brought about by the heavy reliance and use of social media while locked away in bedrooms
  • Alternative education provision for the excluded. Pupils never returning to mainstream education and issues about the quality of alternative provision
  • Bullying and the issues around mismanagement of the situation. The need for coping skills and how to deal with bullying over and above “ignore them”
  • Transition from childhood to adulthood.
  • Racial stereotyping. How this plays out in schools and wider society
  • The impact of Brexit

Safeguarding Assemblies

“Wednesfield High Academy has been working with Square Pegs for a [sic] several years where they have supported us to deliver various aspects of safeguarding and we would highly recommend Square Pegs for delivery of topical safeguarding workshops and bespoke group work… Our students and staff who have worked with Square Pegs over the years have always been positive.

We would highly recommend Square Pegs for Safeguarding workshops / bespoke intervention sessions.”

Deputy Head – Wednesfield High Specialist Engineering Academy

Your Community, Your Choice

The YCYC events covered a wide range of consultation and engagement activities and the following feedback was gathered throughout that process:

“… the PB (Participatory Budgeting) event was fantastic! Thanks for all your hard work in making it happen. It went really well and all very positive.”

PC Trusselle, West Midlands Police


“…I felt the day was productive and we were able to showcase some of the good work we do in Wolverhampton… we can look at the issues from a Partnership/NHD (Neighbourhood) perspective and start to try and resolve some of their concerns.”

Inspector Corrina Griffiths, West Midlands Police

Safe Hands 2017

During this programme we worked with pupils from years 5, 6 and 7 in primary and secondary schools. We received feedback from both pupils and teachers at the end of the programme.

“…The feedback from the children showed how you have made a positive impact on the way they think about certain topics… We have seen a huge improvement in our Year 5 behaviour since attending your workshop. The workshops were fun, enjoyable and the children were eager to attend the next one. 

I would like to thank you for giving my pupils the opportunity to take part in this workshop as I really feel that it had a positive impact”

Mrs Darby, Acting Headteacher, D’Eyncourt Primary School

“The boys were particularly pleased to be able to use the video recorders… Safe Hands was also instrumental in engaging friends and families…

The project was delivered in a very creative way which engaged the boys well throughout. I would highly recommend Square Pegs Round Holes who were flexible, approachable and professional in the delivery of the Safe Hands project”

Mrs V McLoughin, Safeguarding/Family Welfare Officer,
Wednesfield High Specialist Engineering Academy

Youth Consultation Events 2016

At the end of the sessions with the young people we asked them to evaluate the usefulness of the activities. They were asked to identify issues of importance or concern to themselves or other young people.