This week we are participating in the #SpiritofMcrStory week, a week of inspiring stories from the voluntary sector in Manchester. As part of this, our client Tom has shared his story.
Tom was facing challenging circumstances that seemed insurmountable. A former offender, he had found himself in a cycle of substance misuse, homelessness and experiencing depression.
“The first time I came across Step Together was when I was living in an alcohol rehab project in Manchester. Karen from Step Together came in to do a presentation and I was really struck with what she had to say about volunteering.”
“Looking back, I can see I was trying to run before I could walk and Karen realised this long before I did. I started volunteering at a dog's home, which was just what I needed then. My confidence had been shot to pieces."
Volunteering helped rebuild Tom's confidence. Since then he has completed several courses and moved on to volunteering in the social care sector, helping people who are homeless.
"I am now in employment, working as a Support Worker, and at the interview they said that the experience I’d gained volunteering would be very useful.”
“It’s been a wonderful journey so far and one that I didn’t think would be possible. I didn’t even know where to start, but Karen has been there.”
Step Together is reducing the number of people who re-offend on leaving prison. In the UK, almost half of adults are reconvicted within one year of release and for those serving sentences of less than 12 months, this figure increases to almost 60%.
Less than 5% of ex-offenders who receive one-to-one support from Step Together reoffend.