PL Inspires: Evan's Story

Saints Foundation/Education Projects/PL Inspires/Screenshot_2024-06-28_at_17.07.42_uuesds

Before moving to Compass School and starting with our Premier League Inspires project, Evan was having difficulties with the day to day of mainstream school.

A couple of months ago, he was presenting his teams competition winning mental health campaign at Wembley Stadium.

“Knowing what I went through, it feels great for me to show this idea and give other people support I can help out. It feels good.”

Evan continued: “I wanted to get the point across that mental health matters and if you look at it correctly, if you look after yourself, open up to other people, it can help you a lot."

Evan and the rest of his team from Compass School’s ideas of a lunchtime club allowing for students to get together and talk to people who may have also been struggling with their mental health, as well as producing posters with quotes around mental wellbeing from students and teachers to encourage conversations.

As they wanted to make a difference beyond their own school, they also pitched plans to get quotes from our men’s and women’s first team players to put on posters around St Mary’s Stadium. A QR code on these posters would offer the chance to talk to someone anonymously about their mental health.

After presenting this idea to a judging panel at St Mary’s, they won the chance to represent their school and Southampton FC at Wembley Stadium.

“Considering where I was two years ago, I would not think that I would end up at Wembley Stadium with a school, representing Southampton. This has showed me what I can achieve.”

For years, Evan didn’t have the best start to life in education, with mainstream schools causing difficulties in his learning before a move to a new school and the chance to work with Saints Foundation.

Compass School is a specialist alternative provision for pupils with additional social, emotional, and mental health needs. As one of our PL Inspires Schools, Compass students can gain additional support with Saints Foundation staff to help them reach their full potential.

"I struggled at school a lot when I was younger," Evan explained. "After moving to the Compass School, I'm doing well."

“This programme has opened up a lot more opportunities for me to make friends, it's helped me mature, it's helped me gain a better understanding of mental health. It's just been beneficial all round.”