“Us men, we have an ego, so we don’t really want to ask for help but really that’s a weakness.
“When I came out of prison it was daunting. But I could just talk to Ben, tell him things or ask him questions I couldn’t ask other people. He’d call me just to check in. He understands my background so I could really talk to him.
“Recycling Lives helped me a lot like that.
“I’d done a long time in prison – after 15 and a half years you get used to the prison routine so on release, your head can fall off.
“Recycling Lives was a bridge between prison and coming home.
“I started in a workshop and got my Fork Lift Truck license then a ROTL job came up so I went there. It gave me some independence but that stability and routine too. The money helped a lot too, to save up for my flat, a car and clothes.
“I carried on working at Motorhog when I was released but then I was made redundant during the pandemic. That was horrible – very stressful. Again, I took responsibility for myself and people have given me work because I’m a positive lad. Most of the places I’ve worked do ask about criminal records and I’m honest about it. I know I did wrong.
“You can’t change what you’ve done in the past – I wish I could. I did the restorative justice because I wanted to give them that closure. I’ve tried to do the right thing, make the best of a bad situation then come out, have a good life and keep myself to myself.”

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