CP was referred to the UP-Project in November 2020 by The National Probation Service (NPS) having been identified as meeting the UP-Project criteria and needing support. CP had recently been released from prison having served five years of a seventeen-year sentence for manslaughter and possession of a bladed article upon arrest. CP was released from prison in September 2017 on license which is due to expire this month.
Upon meeting CP an initial assessment was completed, and we identified his needs as requiring support in the following areas: employability, mental health, disclosure, confidence, and self-esteem support. A support plan was created with CP which implemented realistic short-term, mid-term and long-term goals. These included gaining a qualification within the construction industry, gaining employment, knife crime intervention, mental health intervention and disclosure support all of which was agreed with CP. CP goals were regularly reviewed, and he was meeting with staff initially around 3/4 times per week. CP also highlighted he would like to become a peer mentor working with young people who had been involved in the criminal justice system (CJS) in the hope to steer them away from a life of crime. CP said due to him being a youth at the time of his conviction and feeling that he was easily influenced and somewhat vulnerable he wanted to support others to not fall prey.
CP engagement initially was really good he appeared motivated and determined however, having work really hard prior to his CSCS test he failed, and his confidence and engagement declined. With lots of contact and regular encouragement CP developed the confidence to continue to work with us, accepted additional support specific to his CSCS learning and was put through for a second test where he went on to pass with an impressive score of 49/50. CP then went on to gain a Traffic Marshall Bade which placed him in a better position in terms of being more skilled for construction roles. CP successfully gained full time employment in January 2021 and continues to work within the industry part time now alongside his studies at university. There has been no evidence to suggest CP reoffending since his release from custody and he is due to compete his licence with probation this month.
Our staff feel a person-centered approach combined with commitment encouragement, belief, and integrity in times of stress is what helped CP to unlock his potential. In addition to the above, as the project offers a youth led approach to creating person centered support plans, it allows young people to feel listened to, and gives them the responsibility to take ownership of their future.
To date CP’s engagement has been excellent, he successfully engaged with a series of workshops such as our employability workshop where he gained valuable employability skills and understood the importance of first impressions. CP successfully completed the disclosure workshop where he reports to have gained improved knowledge around the importance of disclosing conviction and wrote an impressive disclosure letter which detailed; 1. His remorse 2. His progress since the offence. CP went on to gain his CSCS card and passed with an impressive score of 49/50. He then went on to gain a Traffic Marshall Bade which placed him in a better position in terms of being more skilled for construction roles. CP then went on to full time and continues to remain doing so. CP also began having weekly counselling session with our mental health partners and has since been discharged having successfully complete his treatment plan.
CP as mentioned above discussed wanting to become a peer mentor and said
I strive to become a better person, who is now confident to be able to make the right choices thanks to the support I have received. I now want to help other young people that may be experiencing the things I once didCP
With this in mind and several young people stating the same desire the UP-PROJECT opened up an opportunity to participate in creating a knife crime deterrence workshop. CP contributed massively, he played an active role in the planning, creation and delivery of LIVES NOT KNIVES animation and has plans publicly speak at our launch on the 21st of September 2021.
CP will be working with staff from the UP-Project once he has completed his online peer mentor training, to deliver this work to young people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. There has been no evidence to suggest CP reoffending since his release from custody and he is due to compete his licence with probation next month.
CP was asked what he believed worked for him, what was important and what was missing or could have been done differently, his response.
What worked for me was the time, patience, encouragement, and constant reassurance I received whilst working on the UP project. I was supported to set my own realistic goals, obtain support with my mental health, and gain a CSCS card and a Fire Marshall badge which helped me get a full-time job.
The highlight of my time on the UP project was being given the chance to work on the Lives Not Knives program. This is something that I said I wanted to do but never thought it would happen because of my past.
I don’t think anything was missing from the support I received, but I think if I have been referred for the support to the UP-Project at the time of my release from prison, I could have achieved what I have done sooner, and probably not found myself depressed and isolated.
I am currently still working but now part time as I have been successfully accepted at university to complete a Business Degree. The UP project even helped me with my UCAS application and student finance.
I Know loads of young people think like I once did that success for some is impossible. I would say to them it isn’t and definitely recommend any other young person who is able to work with the UP-Project to do so. There is so much they are able to do to support you physically and mentally if you work with them, they really will help you create a positive future regardless of your past!CP