This story mentions suicidal ideation and self-harm. It’s important to note that Daisy Chain is not a crisis service, and this individual received crisis intervention and mental health support prior to attending Daisy Chain. Names have been changed.

After running away from home and engaging in various risk-taking and anti-social behaviour, Social Services has put a safety plan in place for Dylan. He had been experiencing thoughts of suicide and self-harming, and further investigation with the GP had resulted in a late diagnosis of autism with associated distressed behaviour, something that was negatively impacting his mental health.

Unfortunately, the mainstream school environment didn’t work for Dylan, and an alternative provision failed to meet his needs. The situation escalated, and with no education placement and acute social anxiety and depression, Dylan was at high risk for hospitalisation.

At this point in his journey, Dylan was referred to the Daisy Chain Keyworking service from a local children’s service. His assigned keyworker attended a home visit and built a relationship with Dylan, supporting him to access the community. Before this, he only left his room for essential appointments.

As part of his plan of care, he was also referred to the Daisy Chain wellbeing service for therapeutic intervention, in addition to supporting the set-up of a placement at Daisy Chain farm for 2 hours per week. By this time, Dylan had not engaged with another young person in over 2 years and was significantly withdrawn and isolated.

Understandably, Dylan did not feel very trusting of services and was highly anxious, and initially reluctant to attend. Further triggers in his life, including a close family bereavement, meant that Daisy Chain’s bespoke, person-centered approach enabled him to continue to access services at his own pace, adjusting where required.

How is Dylan now?

Through a shared love of music and walking in the community, Dylan has developed strong bonds with the professionals working with him, which has resulted in him feeling confident to feed and handle animals at Daisy Chain as well as work in the gardens and allotments alongside other staff, volunteers and beneficiaries and accessed digital inclusion support including money management and budgeting workshops.

He has engaged in activities that have supported him in understanding his autism diagnosis, challenging negative bias and stereotypes, and building his confidence.

Dylan aspires to go to college to study Business, and his Care Team Leader at Daisy Chain supports him with his college visits to enable enhanced transition support. He’s also in the process of organising a work experience placement to support his studies and has enrolled in Cadets.

He has expressed a wish to continue his placement at Daisy Chain once he begins college, and says his ‘confidence is through the roof.’



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