18 months on

Thursday 27th November

Brian completed ‘A New Future’ a year ago and is now living at one of our ‘Move On’ houses. He is currently doing a counselling course, as well as taking English lessons. When he is not doing college work, going to the gym or meeting with his sponsor he is volunteering his time. Brian regularly gives talks at schools and at volunteer training days for Pact. He mentors a young man. Brian is also part of a church and attends midweek bible studies. During the weekend, he uses his chef skills to volunteer for a church homeless project by cooking meals.

“I am embracing life. I do not dread going to college like I did when I was a young boy at school. My mind is open and I am willing to learn. Now, all I want to do is give back to society.”

“It has been a tough year. It has taken time to get to where I am. Due to my health, I had to rest in bed for a lot of the year. I was frustrated and bored. However now my leg is fully healed, I am in good health, and I am ready to go!”

Brian has just managed to secure himself a flat.

“I am concerned about being left to my own devices. For the past 4 years I have been in some form of institution, with either a regime to follow or someone to answer to. Soon I will not have that kind of structure. I continuously pray for courage and conviction to be able to walk on my new path. However I know that I have certain support networks that I have never had before.  I can call my sponsor, my church, or Nehemiah.”

“I have learnt to forgive myself. I am confident in who I am. I cannot change the things I have done wrong, but I also no longer need to go down that road again. I can ask for God’s help. He is my rock and I see now how he has been working in my life.”

“The way I interact and communicate with others is getting better. I can be who I am with other people now. I have been sitting here, and I haven’t sworn once! That is a big a change. I have learnt to be mindful and think before I engage.”

“My goal is to be a counsellor by the time I am 60, working with people like myself. I will be 57 next year. With training, and with the knowledge and experience that I have gained over the years, I feel I can relate well. I have self-awareness and I will lead by example. One day I will be in a position to help them others think about their change. Look at me now. I have been there. I am living proof that change is possible, but you have to want it.”

You can see the emotion in Brian’s face when he talks about how far he has come since being released from prison 18 months ago. He is an example to all that change is possible. We wish him all the best as he continues on his journey.