Had it not have been for Jamie Jones-Buchanan of the Leeds Rhino’s mentioning us in his after dinner speech, it is very unlikely our paths would have crossed. But wow are we pleased they did as it seems Darren who was at the dinner, is almost as keen as we are to see Tempus Novo flourish and to create more and more employment opportunities for ex-offenders.
Many years ago Darren himself got in to trouble with the law and spent some time behind bars. Remarkably despite being advised by his barrister to run a trial, when he got to court Darren decided that was the wrong thing to do as he had committed the offence and felt he needed closure. That brave decision sent Darren to prison for 2 years, however while in prison he decided to gain some useful skills and set about reading books on business. He became so interested in business studies that towards the end of his sentence he found himself going out on a daily basis to College in Sheffield and returning to prison at the end of the day.
Incredibly this is where something quite remarkable happened. Chris who was a businessman at the time but was looking to set up in construction and wanted a partner, called the college to see if there were any suitable students he could speak to. The tutor nervously mentioned Darren to Chris, explaining he attends from prison and expecting the cold shoulder, but to his delight an interview was arranged.
Chris says he knew immediately that Darren was the right man to partner him, serving a sentence or not, and what an incredibly brave and astute decision it turned out to be. 23years on and they have built a £65 Million pound construction empire which they now want to use as a vehicle to help more people who have made mistakes and who society generally turn their backs on.