“When they shut the door for the first time I thought that was it. I didn’t know there were people who wanted to help me.”
Stuart was referred to Access to Industry’s Passport project which supports persistent young male offenders leaving Polmont make a more successful transition back into the community. He began having weekly appointments with his Passport caseworker six months before his release.
Stuart said all he wanted was to leave Scotland as there was no chance for him here. But, as he began to trust his caseworker, he talked about the difficulties he faced and the fears he had about his future. These included periods of neglect during his upbringing and coping with his mother’s mental health issues; substance misuse and homelessness.
Rather than continuing to hide from his problems Stuart made a determined decision to face up to them, one at a time. Through the Rickter assessment and evaluation process, and an SQA in Personal Effectiveness, Stuart highlighted areas to work on and set goals to motivate him for the remainder of his time in Polmont. He also took part in Passport’s Media Education DVD project which gave him new skills, experience working as part of a team and increased his confidence.
Three days after his release from custody, Stuart had his first appointment with Passport in the community. He put all his training and hard work into practice by going to job seeking sessions and applying for jobs in his own time. When he was asked to attend an interview for a full time job with a cancer research company, Stuart practiced his interview skills with his caseworker.
He was offered the job and commended for the passion that he showed throughout the application process. Excitedly phoning his caseworker, Stuart said:
“I’ve done it. I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you so much.”