AMBASSADORS OF HOPE
Hopeless menace to Hopeful mentor!
“I was the kid your teachers would talk about at parents evening, you know the “disruptive one”
When I was in school, I was the kid your teachers would talk about at parents evening, you know the “disruptive one”. Not rude or aggressive but never focussed on anything, anything positive anyway.
One summer I lost a hell of a lot, friends, family, education, all because of the bad choices I was making at the time. This resulted in a custodial sentence that would take me right up to my adulthood and this was the start of hope for me. I hoped every day for a chance to help others see that even when you feel like you have hit rock bottom, there is hope.
Release! It was at this point when I decided I wanted to take my experiences and help others going through situations that to them feel very unknown and scary. I thought of every barrier I had come across (post custody) and put every bit of advice, help and answers into an amazing project.
In 2020 “Get Out Stay Out” was finalised and printed, an informative, personalised, Book that trained professionals can use with young people leaving custody. “Get Out Stay Out” captures the individuals’ interests, but also gives the young person a real good idea of what they’re entitled too. It gives professionals a great starting point for a release plan while keeping the young person’s interests throughout.
Throughout my experience if it taught me one thing it’s that I do have a focus now and so can anybody we just have to dig deep and find It. I want to show people that there is a positive to every negative we just don’t see it straight away.
My hopes now are to help the youth offending team and other agencies improve job vacancies for ex-offenders and give everybody an equal opportunity, furthermore, put my knowledge and experience into practice by helping other young people going through very tuff times. I like to hope that in a few years’ time I am living independently and in a full-time position for a service, while still educating myself around youth work.
An inspiration to me is John McAvoy, he was serving a life sentence, broke multiple world records (in custody) he was released and completed the triathlon “iron man”(multiple times) and is the only triathlete on the planet to be sponsored by Nike. He now goes in and around prisons doing talks with people on his story and it was an absolute pleasure to meet him. What a bloke.