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From the Archive| Young People’s Stories

David’s* Story

*pseudonymised

Background

David is 21 years old (20 when we started working with him)

David had a chaotic lifestyle – only met his Dad once; mum and been in homeless accommodation for years; David and his sisters lived with his granny.

Heavy binge drinking and drug use. Had PTSD, anxiety and anger management issues.

History of repeat offending, including violent crime.

Had been in Polmont twice (in fact, we had once previously tried to engage with David but very soon in he was sent to Polmont so he gave up, he thought “what’s the point in trying when they still send me here?”)

David was serving a Community Payback Order (Unpaid Work Order it’s called now) but was in breach of the order, so was referred to us through our partnership with One Glasgow Reducing Offending.

Is also waiting to be sentenced for another crime.

Working with Includem

At the start, he really resisted and refused to engage with us, but his workers just kept at it – they never gave up on him.

Eventually persistence started to pay off, he started to open up, and we were able to start to understand why things seemed to be going wrong again and again for him.

Practical help for immediate problem (breaching CPO)

On a practical level, we helped him with his community service – David struggled with others on the service and was racking up further offences. Plus it turned out that David was also in breach because he was turning up late, getting breaches for being just 2 minutes late. But his community service started at 9am in the morning and was 2 bus journeys away AND he had no money!

So, we helped him to access the vouchers needed to help with costs, and we agreed to meet him there on the days we’d identified as being most problematic for him/ when most issues arose. Worked on his anger management to help him through these issues.

We also supported him to meetings with his Criminal Justice Social Worker – they didn’t have a great relationship and David had struggled to articulate himself and control his rage in meetings.

Addressing underlying / chronic issues

Supported him to address his alcohol and drug use, understanding the link with his mental health and offending. Supported him to engage with Addiction Services which he previously hadn’t done.

Helped to rebuild relationships with his family, particularly his mum, so he had a supportive environment back home.

Working towards a positive future

David hadn’t engaged in any other services or programmes (employability, jobs etc) so his workers knew that in order for him to engage it needed to be something he was passionate about.

His two great passions are Celtic and football generally à got him onto the Celtic Foundation Employability programme. He loved it. Never missed a session. Now he’s job-ready and we’re helping him look for further job and training opportunities.

Now?

David helps us with recruitment at Includem

He’s volunteered to help out at the Includem Fun Day by running football matches

He got the chance to meet the First Minister as part of her 1000 voices campaign

(FM promised him Indyref2 if he gave up the cigarettes! Apparently he’s starting to worry he might actually have to now!)

Crucially – At the beginning of us working with him his lawyers said he was almost certainly facing a custodial sentence. Now, because of his progress, and the positive court reports submitted by ourselves and One Glasgow, it’s looking incredibly promising that David will get some sort of alternative, such as CPO or reduced liberty.

Why did it work?

  • We never gave up on him, even when he pushed us away
  • We took the time to try and figure out what was going on with him and in his life that was holding him back
  • We gave him the practical support to overcome some of these challenges
  • We focused on the positives – his strengths and interests
  • Crucially…we believed in him, until he believed in himself


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