Pedro joined the Gateway project in the summer of 2015 and has completed the 12-week Inspiring Your Future Programme
Pedro is a 29-year-old male who has experienced issues with addiction in the past and has also spent time in custody.
When Pedro first attended the programme he was naturally apprehensive, his first language is not English and he can struggle to communicate his needs and thoughts in a way that he would like at times.
Pedro’s confidence grew with each session he attended. The first tier, which dealt with personal and social issues, saw Pedro contribute more and more, when he didn’t understand he was confident enough to stop and ask for further explanation. He openly challenged others views in a way that was respectful and non-confrontational. Pedro began to look in more depth at his own behaviour patterns and what had triggered his problems initially and alongside the many support services Pedro has access to in the Gateway Project Pedro has made good progress throughout each tier of the programme.
Pedro showed a real flare for the hands on second tier part of the programme, making copies of recipes and being confident enough to assist the chef who came in to work with them.
The third tier allowed Pedro to look directly at his future and life beyond his residency on the project. He has shown interest in attending sessions to improve his literacy and to train as a personal trainer. To build on his confidence Pedro has planned small sessions in the hostel gym for others to join him and he supports the fitness sessions delivered to the hostel on a Monday and Friday evening. He has also began to plan a small teaching group within the programme to enable others to speak a little of his mother tongue, Spanish.
In closing Pedro has made excellent progress within the programme, his confidence is growing and his ability to communicate more effectively has noticeably improved. He has a clear plan of where his recovery is heading and he is making good progress towards that end goal.
The programme he has attended alongside the support of the Gateway project is assisting Pedro is working towards maintaining his own recovery, being able to live independently and having the life skills to further his education successfully and move into employment that he can sustain.
Paul is a 26-year-old male who has a history of offending with issues around drugs and alcohol.
Paul’s first spell in custody was at the age of 17 and since then has had a further 6 custodial sentences.
Paul was released from custody in July and was placed in a hostel. Paul engaged fully with the Healthy mind and Body sessions almost immediately and with time began to attend the workshops.
In December Inspiring Your Future was asked to deliver 5 workshops to a secondary school in Warrington who with the support of other agencies were running a ‘Stay Safe’ day for their pupils. Paul was asked if he felt ready to share his story, although naturally nervous he jumped at the opportunity. Paul was outstanding in his delivery, honest and open, we knew instantly we had found someone who could make the impact we were looking for.
The school clearly appreciated it and invited us back to speak at their ‘British Values’ day and have enquired about the possibility of mentoring some of their harder to reach learners; a role Paul is eager to develop as part of his recovery. In his words “It’s just giving me an opportunity to give something back, to stay on track and focus on doing something positive with what was a very negative part of my life”
CASE STUDY - a speech given by a Young Person on our Programme
“My name is Jack. 8 months ago I was thinking I needed to be locked up in hospital for my own safety. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I was a prisoner in my own head, driving myself crazy. My anxiety levels and paranoia were unbelievable. I wanted the end. I was spending around £150 a week on recreational drugs. I didn’t care about what I put in my body I just did it. It was normal to me and my gang of mates to binge on drugs like weed, E’s, Acid, Magic mushrooms, M-Kat, Cocaine, MDNA, Ketamine. I didn’t care about stopping taking drugs and who I was affecting. I was really selfish in my behaviour as long as I could take drugs to stop me thinking about my problems it was ok. I justified my actions to myself. Drugs had already affected my life so badly. Not doing well at school, dropping out of sixth form, college asking me to leave for my own safety and the risk I presented to others. But the worst of all was that my behaviour meant I wasn’t part of my family anymore; I wasn’t a brother and my mum was losing her son. I never thought it would come to this. I never planned my life out that I would end up having a drug problem that was killing everything that was good in my life. I didn’t know there was a way out and I thought I was too old to stop and I would never be able to sort myself out. From growing up I knew of the risks involved with drugs and been offered all the help but nothing seemed to work…
I was asked to attend a workshop that was being held by ******** Youth Club. I basically went because it was something to do instead of my college work. I will never forget that day because that and what followed changed the direction of my life. A grown man gave us a talk, he spoke to us about his life and where drugs and his lifestyle had taken him. He told us about how he felt growing up and discussed openly about his emotions. I didn’t know men did that.
I was mesmerised by his story and I knew I had a problem and at last I was prepared to let somebody help me. From that experience I was referred to Inspiring Futures for help. I was given a mentor who I was able to build a relationship with who didn’t judge me and who I felt comfortable to talk to. He didn’t tell me everything was going be ok if I carried on. He got real with me and was honest and at times tough. But I needed it. We would meet up weekly and I would tell him all my thoughts and feelings as to why I took drugs. He told me I needed to change in so many ways so I started taking little steps because I trusted him. I knew I could phone him up at any time and he would listen but also understand.
I am now 5 months off all drugs. That’s a miracle for me. I didn’t think I could go a weekend. I am learning to cope with life and to face it and not to run away. My life at the moment at times is still difficult. Only two weeks I had to meet up with my mentor and have a talk because I found out that my dad had been having an affair with another woman after 23 years of marriage to my mum. It’s been really hard watching my mum struggle and seeing my family left in pieces as a result. But somehow I have been able to be there for my mum. I’ve been able to hold my mum and even though I was always scared of the words but to tell that I ‘love her’ and that I am always there for her. If Inspiring Your Future had not given me this support I don’t know where I would be today. But with their on-going guidance I have enrolled for an electrical engineering course for September and I now go to the gym 4 times a week to keep me healthy and busy. I didn’t want to come here today. I could never see myself doing this but I’ve been told by my cockney mentor that I best get used to it because I know that my story will help other young people. I am planning to do some talks for Inspiring Futures in the future. So today I faced my fears instead of running. But most importantly I am a proper friend today. I can be there for my younger brother when he needs his big bro and I know my mum has got her son back who she can say today she is proud of.”