“Recycling Lives has been the best thing that’s happened to me in a long time. It gave me a goal, some direction and a lot of hope.
“I was in the workshop first, for a year. My goal there was to save up for my daughter’s wedding. To be in a position where you can help your family after such a long time … it’s a very good feeling.
“Then it materialised I could go out on ‘day release’. It was a bit scary at first – I’d been in prison a long time. But they prepped us and off we went. I’ve been there three years now – just over a year while I was inside and then they’ve kept me on ever since and I’ve progressed.
“I wanted to relocate when I was released and the job helped with that, giving me ties to the area. Otherwise, I would have had to go back to London and that wouldn’t have gone well for me.
“There was a lot to learn when I was released. There were no mobiles or online banking or anything like that before I went in. I would’ve struggled if I’d had to do things on my own. Recycling Lives helped me in every way.
“I’m so grateful for the opportunity to rebuild my life.
“And this stability has shown my family I’m being proactive and not falling back into my old behaviours. My girls can see that I’m working, I’ve got a home and I’m doing well. They’re really pleased for me. I’m still proving it to them … I let them down. But they know I’m working on it.”

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