In 2015 Leon was serving a custodial sentence and was referred to us by his mental health worker in HMP Leeds.At the time he was engaging well and genuinely wanted to move away from a life of crime and poverty.He had an awful start to life where as a 10 year old boy he would be sent out to sell drugs by his father, and if he didn’t complete the task his father cut him as a punishment.(precisely – imagine how you could possibly make good of your life in those circumstances)
TN managed to find him some voluntary work, as although he was desperate to change and better himself, we felt a full time job would be too much too soon at that stage. He did brilliantly for several months until his relationship ran in to difficulties and he ended up back in prison.Seeing him back on the wing was sad,but he did seem sincere when he told us that he still had the hunger to go straight and was determined to try even harder on release.
Next time we heard about Leon he was working for St Giles Trust in Leeds as a volunteer.Here he would meet people with similar problems to those he had faced and guide and mentor them during their first few weeks out of custody.He did this successfully for a few months and then took up a paid position at St Giles,but this proved again to be too much too soon and he quit. However he still had his mind fixed on doing well and he stayed focused on improving his life, so he got in contact with Tempus Novo again.
I’m pleased to say we reassessed Leon and put him forward for a job with one of our partner companies. They came in to interview him and having smashed the interview, he now has a full time paid job and a real chance of creating that dream life, he is so desperate to live. We will certainly do all we can to make sure that is the case!