David’s Story


David admitted that he had been researching hacking online as he thought it would be fun and challenging


David was a bright and capable 15 year old attending school and achieving grades, David struggled with friendships due to having Asperger’s, an autism spectrum disorder, and could sometimes struggle in social situations. He had a couple of close friends who he mainly communicated with outside of school time via group gaming online.

David’s Mum had a few discussions with his teachers and they were concerned he was getting increasingly isolated, David’s parents had recently split up and his Mum thought he spent too much time in his room on his computer and wasn’t talking to anyone.

Matt Wainwright our cyber ranger’s coordinator had visited the school and shared information with the staff and management team so David’s teacher contacted Matt and it was decided that the programme would be ideal for him.

David met with Matt and the team and they talked through his day to day life, he admitted that he had been researching hacking online as he thought it would be fun and challenging. David also admitted that he was struggling with his parent’s separation and through our assessments we identified that his mental wellbeing was not as it should be.

David was matched with his mentor Steven. Steven was an IT professional, who specialised in personal online security, he had volunteered through his company as part of their staff commitment to working in the community.

Steven had received all of his training with Youth Fed and made an appointment to meet David at a local internet café. Although a little reluctant at first Steven convinced David that he could do with some support over his parent’s separation and so, with the support of the Cyber Rangers coordinator, David was referred to CAMHS. Although slightly delayed due to waiting list David has now begun counselling sessions with the team and he has been able to talk through his problems.

Steven has continued to see David and they have been exploring cyber careers. Steven even made it possible for David to do his Work Experience at his workplace. David and Steven sometimes go bowling or to Crazy Golf and it’s a good way to have an informal chat. In their one to one meetings they have been looking at some pathways to cyber careers, as David is very keen to do this in the future. With Steven’s support David has ow submitted an application for an apprenticeship with a large local online security firm and are optimistic of a positive outcome!

David’s Mum has been in touch especially to thank the team for their support, she feels much less worried about David now and feels as though he is coping with everything much better, she said “I was so worried about David before, I was concerned he was getting into trouble online but didn’t really understand it, he was also showing signs of depression, he didn’t really enjoy anything and didn’t like talking to anyone. Since starting we’ve had a number of talks about how he’s feeling and we’ve also been talking about his career options which sound amazing. David has also promised to spend an hour after school out of his room, away from his computer, even if it’s just to watch Coronation Street with me!”