A TEENAGER who suffered with social problems is now planning to be a role model for others with difficult lives.

Morgan Williams from Barton, Oxford, was so obsessed with video games that he was nearly expelled from his school.

Originally from Blackbird Leys, the 16-year-old used school time to sleep after playing computer games for up to 12 hours straight.

The Oxford Spires schoolboy said: “I just didn’t go into school and didn’t see any point in going in. I used to play games so much and I did not want to go out.”

Morgan had a difficult family life and moved out of his parents’ home to live with his grandma when he was 11.


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He was referred to the Thrive Barton team by his social worker to solve his video game addiction.

Thrive Barton is a team of youth workers who aim to change the lives of young people on the Barton estate.

The then 13-year-old met with Thrive youth worker Jem Todd and said no-one in his family had a job and about half the adults he knew were unemployed.

But the team changed Morgan’s outlook on life and put curfews on his gaming time.

He attended weekly sessions where he was mentored by Jem and set short-term goals of being more sociable.

He also developed long-term goals to tackle his attendance issues and become aware of how important education is for his future. Morgan added: “He [Jem] helped me realise that going to school was important and made everything feel normal and I want to better myself and achieve something.

“Now I’m regularly attending school and aiming to get good grades and hopefully go on to sixth form and become a stockbroker, which is what I want to do.”

Mr Todd mentored Morgan over a period of three years and helped him manage his life and start his own business.

The Barton teenager was challenged to think of a business idea and he developed his own pop-up restaurant, which has raised £9,000 after just three events.

Now he is fundraising to form a team of Barton residents to embark on a trip to the Philippines to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan rebuild their communities.

Morgan needs to raise another £10,000 for the adventure, which he hopes can help him inspire other young people in Barton.

Mr Todd said: “When I first met Morgan it was quite difficult because he did not really enjoy our meetings.

“But a year in to our relationship we turned a corner and he came out of his shell and starting talking about things he wanted to do with his life.”

Lucy Wilding, Morgan’s head of house at school, said he was “a lovely lad” and that it was wonderful to see him achieving.

She added: “When we first met Morgan his attendance was awful, but in the last two years he is a different boy.

“He is quiet and humble when he goes about his work, and he now attends all the after-school sessions and he’s doing well. It’s fantastic.”