Where I find hope - By Sammy 

I find hope in the knowledge that I am building myself up to a better future. I have just completed an IT course, am beginning driving lessons and improving my capabilities. As a volunteer with Pact, I have taken part in a number of courses. I have improved my knowledge and understanding of the criminal justice system and how to support people who are experiencing the same life I had a few years ago. For myself, I want to improve my skills to be able to become a Youth Worker. I want to prevent people from going down the same path as I did. I believe because of my experiences in the criminal justice system and my history of substance misuse, I can give young people a real perspective on life before and after prison. They will be able to see that there is hope for them in the future, even if they have a criminal record.

I was lucky. I have a strong family network who supported me in and out of prison and whilst I was at my lowest point in life. They stuck around for a long period of time and I believe if I had carried on that path, they would not have been around much longer. My girlfriend came at the right time before I got better and pushed me to change my lifestyle. My first avenue was volunteering and I was surprised that I was able to throw myself straight into it after stopping drinking and taking drugs. Volunteering gave me responsibility for people other than myself. I knew if I went out and took drugs, I wouldn’t be in a fit state to help those people any more. Seeing my clients on the road I used to be on, helps cement my determination to change and improve my quality of life. I hope through bringing in my own personal experiences will help to change their perspectives on their own lives. We press on – Together, in Hope.