Small group and one-to-one mentoring for young people in hospital education

When a young person is referred to Gloucestershire’s Hospital Education Service, they may be in hospital, or unable to attend school due to illness or emotional difficulties and mental health problems such as anxiety, stress, self-harming and eating disorders.

Our one-to-one and small group mentoring helps to engage them in learning, build their confidence and self-esteem, reduce their anxiety and help them cope with the challenges they face

Our weekly sessions take place either in the hospital education classroom, on hospital wards, or in young people’s homes, and can make a difference in small but significant, or quite profound and long-lasting ways. Read the case studies and quotes on this page to find out more.

Get in touch to find out more or make a booking:


We are currently working on a robust programme of impact evaluation to enable us to more effectively monitor and understand the impact that our work is having. In the meantime you can read more in the case studies below, view Our Stories or read more about our impact.


Michael finds confidence, self-belief and a route back into education

Michael is a 15 year-old who was referred to Gloucestershire Hospital Education Service because he had stopped attending school as a result of an anxiety disorder. He was painfully shy – saying he was ‘afraid’ to meet people. He was unable to leave the house, experienced extreme mood swings, and was unpredictable. Struggling with day-to-day life, he couldn’t see a future for himself, and his parents didn’t know what to do to help him.

By working with one of our specialist music leaders, he gradually built trust, learned music technology skills, and his parents said that quite quickly “there was a change in how he saw himself” and he was a “different person”, coming home after sessions happy, talkative and more sociable. As a result, Michael was able to play in front of a live audience at a competition, attend classes regularly, and has volunteered in a recording studio.

His support worker said: “It’s having an impact on all areas – he’s doing better in other subjects, and is now planning his future. Before, he wasn’t thinking about tomorrow.” Michael is now studying BTEC Music Technology at a local college.

Charlie learns she can achieve and cope

Charlie  was a 13-year old who’d been excluded from school and had been attending a Pupil Referral Unit. She had learned extreme tactics for avoiding learning – from swearing at teachers and physical violence, to running away and climbing on top of furniture. After working with one of our music leaders, she has found a new passion for and confidence in singing, and has completed a Bronze Arts Award. At one stage she said to the leader “You’re one of the few teachers that believes in me”. With his support, she put together a portfolio of work, carried out independent research, and taught him a skill that she had learned. She has shown qualities of patience, determination, creativity, and produced high quality work.

Now 15, Charlie has since continued to attend sessions with The Music Works team – her only education – for just over a year, in a new off-site Alternative Provision setting. It has been a long and complex journey, but the team report that there has been a complete transformation of her behaviour, her self-motivation, her engagement in English and Maths, her social skills and her resilience. She is expected to achieve a level two AQA qualification in Functional Skills English which will enable her to attend an FE course.

In a recent evaluation meeting she said “[This] has helped me feel like I can achieve, I have matured and am able to cope better with other people being annoying. It has been important having adults I can trust, staff here support and challenge you but don’t wind you up. I can talk very openly about things that I am struggling with”  

Find out more about the way we work and the impact it has by downloading a case study:



See what people have to say about their experience of working with us.


“Music technology is particularly good for engaging young people who are switched off to learning. The staff have a way of working with even the most anxious pupils that brings out the best in them – they’re highly skilled in music themselves and inspire young people to aim higher. They’re very professional – collaborative, thoughtful and reliable. They really care about the outcomes for each pupil and this belief and care in each pupil helps to produce great results.”

Annalise Price-Thomas, Head of Service, Gloucestershire Hospital Education Service


“Your music leader gives people that fresh start every time they come through the door, showing he’s pleased to see them, bigging them up, and most importantly empowering them to take control of their own learning. He gives them a framework but then lets them make choices about what they do and how they do it… he can tailor the project to whoever is there, and adapt on the spot. That’s been really important. He’s always enquiring about and reflecting on the needs and situations of each student.”

Mikala Batley, Support worker, Sir William Romney’s School.


“I have been so impressed with the skill of The Music Works staff and their sensitivity and flexibility. We achieved Outstanding in our last Ofsted inspection: The Music Works were part of that success and the quality of their sessions are outstanding in terms of the input of the staff and the outcomes and progress that our pupils – most of whom have mental health issues – make.”

Annalise Price-Thomas, Head of Service, Gloucestershire Hospital Education Service


“I wrote a beat and a rap, and I liked it … we used the Apple Mac, iPad, microphone and piano. The week before … I only did a bit of the beat, but this week, I feel more confident. I know I got a bit like, stressed out … but when you actually hear it, it sounds alright.”

A student, Peak Academy.


“After just one session, the change in our student was amazing. Most importantly, there’s been a change in how he sees himself. He’s doing better in other subjects and is now planning his future. It’s very good value for money, particularly because this can be done in small groups. Your music leader has made a big difference to a lot of young people.”

Emma Stevenson, Senior Support Worker at Gloucestershire Hospital Education.


“My concentration skills are better now, and I’m much happier. I really enjoy it and now I’m doing my main Arts Award. He helps me write songs, I can never find words and the words that come out are really bad, but … he’s helped my confidence a lot.”

Nina (name changed), who had been experiencing bullying at school.