Hey awesome people!
My name is Andre and I’m so excited to have the chance to work with you and your family. Being a MindJam mentor allows me to use the experience and expertise I’ve accrued over the last decade, working with SEND children and young adults as a support worker, tutor and mentor in residential, community and educational settings. I have worked with a wide range of people, from children and young people in assisted living, refugees, neurodiverse individuals and have experience supporting a wide range of mental health conditions.
I have worked with SEND young people and adults on personalised courses and projects, designed to specifications we outline together, gearing everything we do to align with their own interests and hobbies. My ethos as a tutor has always been person-focused, as I believe leaning into individual interests and passions to be the best way of learning and discovery. My creativity and desire to help others has led to multiple awards and recognition over the years, namely VIACOM’s ‘Inspirational Young Person Award’ at BAFTA’s HQ.
Throughout life I always felt different from my peers, especially at school. Despite this, I have always strived to be the best ‘me’ possible, regardless of how others saw or thought of me. As I have gotten older I have grown to understand and use my varied struggles with mental health to understand and help others. I was assessed and diagnosed with autism as an adult, and I hope to stand as one of many examples of living healthily and positively as an autistic person.
Being an autistic person I am immensely proud that I have been able to help other neurodiverse people over the past decade with this personal insight and experience aiding my work. I have a personal understanding of some of the daily struggles of neurodiversity from the view of a loved one also, as my partner has been diagnosed with ADHD. We both live an amazing life, together and individually, and I hope to show mentees this is possible!
Growing up I had the privilege of watching my 4 older brothers play games, and can’t remember a time gaming wasn’t a big part of my life. With an 11 year age gap I have definitely been educated on a wide range of gaming styles and trends! Now that I have my autism diagnosis I realise just how important video games were and still are to me. To the detriment of my brothers patience and personal space, I could always be found in their different rooms with a gamepad in hand or a mouse and keyboard, lost in my own little world.
I struggled, and still struggle very heavily with autistic burnout and overstimulation. Gaming allows me to regulate and stabilise, allowing me to grow and understand my limitations as I develop strategies to cope and strive in day to day life. Whether I was playing by myself, playing with others or just watching my brothers play, the act of gaming allowed me to grow and practise social skills and build relationships with my brothers and friends. I look forward to helping others in the same way.
The games that I love the most tend to be story games, as I can get lost thinking about story theory, structure and storytelling for hours. Being able to play through a story as the characters is such an important and amazing experience. Games such as Horizon Zero Dawn, Red Dead Redemptions, Far Crys, Assassin’s Creeds, Spider-mans, Arkham-series and many more, will always fly close to my heart as I remember feeling and being immersed in the characters I played.
Favourite games I play for the multiplayer experiences or for a nice regulation session are: Civ Vi, Fifa, Rocket League, GTA V, Forza Horizon, Ghost Recon and Age of Empires.
In my free time I love storytelling and have been writing a graphic novel series since 2013 with the intention to eventually have it published – all of my personal neurodiverse goodness crammed into an expansive sci-fi fantasy setting. I love movies, tv-shows and art, all of which feed into my writing. History is a particular special interest of mine. I would write here how much I love different aspects of history, but I wouldn’t be able to stop! I also enjoy spending time with my partner and our rescue cats (of whom may make guest appearances in sessions!), connecting with my Caribbean and Indian heritage through cooking, getting out in nature, and yes, you guessed it, gaming.
Civilisation VI, FIFA, GTA, Red Dead Redemption 2, Far Cry, Tom Clancy Games (Ghost Recon: Breakpoint and Wildlands), Age of Empires Games, Forza Horizon, Superhero Games (Arkham series / Marvel Games ), Assassin’s Creed Games,
Horizon Zero Dawn / Forbidden West.
History (Classical/Ancient/WW2), Storytelling/Writing, Digital Art and illustration, The Walking Dead, Star Wars, Movies, Football (Manchester United), Space (Fiction/Non-Fiction), Cooking, Philosophy.
Two cats called Juna and Flora.
We'd love to hear from you.
If you would like our team to get in touch with you to discuss how we can help you and your young people through our services, please feel free to fill out our contact form, and we will be in touch as soon as possible to talk you through enrolling with one of our mentors or counsellors