We receive hundreds of referrals each year and look to help not only the young people and children across Cornwall, but also offer support and guidance to parents, guardians and organisations working with young people and children.

Below are a small selection of case studies on recent referrals, and also testimonials from those we have helped and supported.

Real testimonials from our service users

From a parent

This following testimony was written by a parent of young male, supported by White Gold Cornwall.

"Please allow me to express my gratitude for what you have done for my son. What you have demonstrated was compassion through wisdom. The joint collaboration from you both, giving my cause some real direction and positive energy. I feel it deserves to be recognised and that a few sincere words of gratitude is the least I can do right now. Thank you for understanding his needs and going the extra mile to help this remarkable young man. Your kindness is literally healing his soul. I witnessed my son, so desperate, with so much hope in his eyes, prep himself he had written out questions, he was ready and waiting by his phone at 6.30 as if his life depended on it. Like a soldier waiting for his orders. I saw my son again for the first time in 20 years at that moment. The goodness in his heart was alive again. You have filled my son’s heart with respect and admiration. Both had once completely died. He can see people round him he can trust and respect. Whatever the outcome I needed to recognise that in this moment in time you gave us Hope, Trust and Integrity"


"Exceptional circumstances, a young man out of county that has accepted he has gone in the wrong direction with the potential for very serious consequences. He knew something had to change and White Gold received a call and, although not our area, we felt the need to help, if we could. The support continues, but the father was very keen that we share this testimonial. The degree of reflection from the parent needs to be shared as it covers so many other aspects of love, care, family, the person in the center. We all need to help where we can. The parent has asked this be shared with others who may benefit from these incredible heart felt words.

Alan Milliner MBE


Korrin’s Tribute to the late John Myles Heller

“I was introduced to John and White Gold, quite a long time ago. In John (Myles), I found a best friend. In late 2019 I was put into care, I honestly don’t think I would have made it through care without him, he was always there to offer advice, solutions, comfort, and kindness, he was my best friend and he had all of my respect, if only I could, I’d thank him now.

I can’t actually put into words how much John helped me over the years, the support he offered was amazing. Even just a conversation or one of his stories, which somehow only got more interesting the more you heard them, they were an escape, a way not to think about things. I like to think that I made his days a bit better when he saw me, cause I know he made mine better, he offered various solutions to pretty much every problem I had, and was always there to make me laugh, whether we were talking about something serious or something stupid, because that happened a lot, a lot of stupid conversations, both of us laughing like hell at each other.

John and I went on many adventures together, be it building a fishing rod, the unsuccessful attempt to repair my bike, or getting stuck in his car during a snow blizzard until 3.45am, which I still say is my first camping trip. On that camping trip, we survived on a healthy diet of Bassetts liquorice all sorts and chess!!!

I now greatly value being a member of John’s extended family “

When John started supporting Korrin, he was a young lad, excluded from mainstream school, struggling in alternative education and facing an uncertain future in care.

Korrin is now 16 years old, back with his family, and is being tutored in English, Maths, and Psychology with an ambition to be a writer- a fine testimony to the positive and lasting effects of White Gold Cornwall support for young people.

John was a much valued White Gold Engagement Worker (May 2018 -Dec 2022)

man standing in front of the window


White Gold was asked to work with a young person who had not been attending school for some time.  He is on the autistic spectrum, and at the time was having real issues engaging with any support that was offered to him.  The objectives were to initially get him to engage.  From that to build up his self-confidence, and that having been achieved to assist getting him back into an educational environment that best suited his very individual needs.  In this work the White Gold worker liaised directly with the educational establishment where the lad was enrolled.


For the first five or six sessions the lad didn’t even acknowledge the White Gold worker. On one occasion the worker stood outside his mums closed car window in the rain, with the lad inside, and talked to him.  It was vital to establish trust, and that White Gold was not going to let him down.  The lad had a deeply seated mistrust of support workers.  This was because in the past, as soon as he got to know someone, and trusted them, they had finished working with him.


Gradually, over a period of 12 months or so, a positive working relationship developed and the lad’s self-confidence improved. True, there were ups and downs.  Eventually he engaged and benefitted from the White Gold worker introducing him to aspects of local history, and Cornish culture and heritage. As a result, the lad engaged more, made partial eye contact, and started to initiate conversations about topics that interested him.


During this time, it was identified that the lad was a “discovery learner”. He liked to gain knowledge by finding things out for himself.  He was also interested in computer related equipment, particularly taking items apart and repairing them.  This may be a possible route for him to work towards for a training course, a placement, or perhaps a job in the future?


Finally, the White Gold worker facilitated the lad being introduced to another support worker from a different organisation.  This person was younger and able to offer a different input with a more educational focus.  The lad took to this new stimulus in a very positive manner.  The end result was that gradually the White Gold worker phased out seeing the lad.  It was important that this was managed carefully via a planned exit strategy which it was.  The initial objectives were met, and the lad moved on with his young life.  That said White Gold made it clear to him that they were always at the end of a phone for him if needed.

woman sitting on bench

Willow’s Walk

Willow is now 16 years old and she has had consistency with the same White Gold worker for over 3 years. During this time, there have been considerable changes both externally and internally for Willow and she is now thriving in supported living whilst continuing her education, with a part time job and a developing network of friends.  Her growing independence and confidence is a credit to her and such a rewarding thing to be a part of.

Willow was initially referred when she was accessing sporadic online education with no other social engagement following an unsuccessful managed school move.  The referral documentation described challenging behaviour and anxiety and Willow had a diagnosis of autism.  Contrary to this, her Engagement worker found her open and engaging, if a little shy at first.  A trusting relationship was established through open dialogue on walks, bike rides, shopping, café visits and trips out to find new places and the trauma of Willow’s home life began to unfold.  Willow had suffered physical and emotional abuse in the home and despite a previous disclosure, had felt isolated and disregarded.  Her trauma was displayed in aggressive behaviour and dysregulation although never once was she aggressive or non-responsive with her White Gold worker.  As more information emerged, the extent of the abuse and significant poor mental health in the home situation continued to disrupt Willow’s own well-being.  She began to take more risks by self-harming and putting her life in serious danger as she had little regard for her own life and became periodically overwhelmed by the effects of her experiences.  Through frequent hospitalisations and arrest by the police, her White Gold Worker was there with a consistent approach and continued support.

During one extended hospital stay, the diagnosis of autism was replaced by ADHD and Willow was prescribed several medications.  White Gold support continued through the hospital stays with trips out and about, often with the welcomed accompaniment of the support worker’s dog.  A previous eating disorder re-emerged and the stability of home was still questioned.  Willow’s school placement was ended and with an EHCP, an alternative school was arranged.  Throughout this time, the risk taking behaviour continued and as isolated from her peers, Willow was also taking risks with newly formed friendships and relationships.  Her eating was sporadic and she began drinking alcohol.

Throughout the pandemic, White Gold support continued virtually and contact occurred in socially distanced open places.

With the decision last year for a care order, Willow entered the foster care system and experienced several placements throughout the county, which all broke down.  White Gold Cornwall continued supporting Willow in different locations and through virtual media as a consistent presence in her life.  On turning 16, she was able to access supported living and her mental health continues to improve as she takes responsibility for making decisions about her life.  She is able to manage her finances, she cooks and eats well and regularly attends a gym.

We still meet and walk and visit the café and when we reflect on shared past experiences and on what she has survived and built on, it is with positivity.  White Gold Cornwall may no longer be needed for the same level of support but the mutual respect between the young person and her mentor will forever remain as a positive legacy.

Real testimonials from our service users

The real impact of our work

We see the real value in our work in the feedback we get from individuals, parents and organisations we work with and support. Read a few of the testimonials below.