Don’t be defined by your postcode…

Before I did the equipped2succeed programme I had been in a lot of trouble as a teenager and ended up in prison at 16. When I was released, I was 17 years old and very anxious about my future and didn’t really have any ambition or goals. I had a very fixed mindset, and I didn’t think about my future or much of anything outside my postcode. I thought my postcode would always define me but I was wrong.

The organisation that helped me was Second Chance Learning Academy. They deliver a programme called equipped2succeed which helped me realise my potential and changed how I think. The fixed mindset that I always thought I would have, changed to a growth mindset which massively changed how I viewed my future.

After completing the programme I was offered a volunteer role where I helped out at different events and was introduced to lots of influential and professional people. This helped me feel like I had made a big change in my lifestyle. 

As a part of my volunteer role I would also help run programmes for young people which soon became my passion. I also joined the SCLA Advisory Board, and my role is to advise on issues relating to young people. After volunteering for two years, I was then offered a job with SCLA and that’s what I’m doing now. I’m currently running programmes for 16-24 year olds in Nottingham city and I have plans to join the army when my charges are spent.

“My advice to someone who faced the challenges that I did, is don’t give up on yourself and remember you’re still young and to think bigger than your postcode.”

A lot of ex-offenders, especially young ones, feel like there’s no point in trying to change when they get out because of the stigma and insecurity about going to prison and being an ex-offender, but if you don’t give up on yourself and set some achievable goals you can get to wherever you want. I am proof of that.

George, from Second Chance Learning Academy adds;

When we first met Josh, he made it very clear he was there because he had to be, not because he wanted to be. His court order told him he had to go through equipped2succeed, so here he was. The changes that we’ve gone on to see in Josh since make him almost unrecognisable as a character. Whilst he has maintained his positive values of fierce loyalty and commitment, he’s combined that with an incredible growth mindset and willingness to help others avoid the negative experiences he went through before changing his life. He’s now a confident, articulate and self-assured young man, an irreplaceable member of our team and a great friend.

If you or someone you know needs support, like Josh, register with Nottingham Jobs today.

The Nottingham Works 4 You project is part of the Nottingham Jobs Service and is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).