Hope and Determination
Alex is a looked after child who has experienced trauma and abuse from a young age and has various mental health issues. He referred to In2Out when he was on remand and found it difficult when he received a lengthy sentence - with both his mental health and his behaviour deteriorating.
His In2Out Mentor would visit him each week with several officers escorting him to our meetings; there were however times when he wasn't allowed out due to a very high risk of violence. On these occasions, we relied on EMAP (email a prisoner) to let him know we were still there for him.
As the weeks went on, we saw a change as he started to focus on what was ahead and recognised that getting into fights wasn't worth it. As he put his words into action, the prison staff started to give him more freedom. Alex told us, "When I signed up, I didn't realise I'd get this much from the support... you really do make a difference."
Having now turned 18 he has been moved to an adult prison, but before leaving he wrote to us saying,
"I just wanted to write a few lines to thank you for everything you all have done for me. I am grateful for all the help and support you all have gave me. Since knowing you... I have came on so much within myself, just having our chats and things we do has made me feel good about myself. When yours are talking to me, you give me hope and determination to do well for myself and reassuring me that I'm a decent, lovely young man... You are really amazing at what you do and know if you can help me the way you have, then you will help so many young people."