James’ teenage years were marred by drugs and crime, which resulted in time at a rehabilitation centre in Plymouth. On leaving rehab, James learned that his former partner had given birth to his son, and it was then James vowed never to return to his former ways. He applied for custody of his son and began parenting courses, followed by levels 1 and 2 in Numeracy and Literacy, through the Probation Service.
James was granted custody and began volunteering, helping people at an aftercare drug centre and work at Plymouth’s Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB). This progressed to paid work at CAB where he’s learned office skills, is completing a CAB adviser course and regularly makes public presentations and trains colleagues.
In his two years at CAB, James has grabbed every training opportunity and now sees a future for himself and his young family: “Having the opportunity to train and learn at this stage in my life has been instrumental in helping me turn my life around... I’d love to learn further to better help people and give back where I once just took away.”