All our volunteers have their own story to tell, this is just one:
Since the age of 13 S. had been dabbling in drugs on and off, gradually getting worse into his late teens until he fell into a cycle of offending that had him in and out of prison for offences committed to fund his heroin and crack habit. At his peak S. was spending around £300 a day on drugs.
Whilst in prison something happened that changed his way of thinking – his best friend committed suicide, he was 19 years old.
Nine months later S. has completed a Drug Testing and Treatment Order and was referred to C.U.P. by a local agency that works with drug users with the support of his Probation Officer. S. has been working with C.U.P. regularly as a volunteer for 12 months. He has an excellent rapport with young people and has proved himself to be a valuable and reliable team member.
"C.U.P. has helped me to regain my self respect. I’ve got to know the kids and have helped them to make progress – I really like it – it gives me a way of doing what I want to do – to make a difference. I get to do lots of training as well; I’ve done my F.A. coaching course and a mentoring course as well as a First Aid. I’m really grateful that C.U.P. gave me a chance – there were lots of others that wouldn’t 'cos of prison and drugs stuff I've done in the past – it feels good now to help others and it’s a job I could see myself doing in the future"
All our volunteers are given ongoing support and training, and many go on to achieve qualifications, accredited certificates of achievement, and some have gone on to gain employment working with young people. For the majority, volunteering has been a positive, life changing experience.