Member Stories
Member Story - Anthony

What was life like growing up?

It was quite difficult to be honest. When I was in middle school and high school I was bullied because I looked different, because I was short in stature and because I could take a punch. I was bullied both physically and mentally. I did well in my exams, achieving six grade Cs at GCSE without much revision.


When did things start to take a wrong turn?

Things started to take a wrong turn for me in 2017. I got dismissed from my employment due to an alleged incident, having worked there for ten years. They sacked me the day before my mother in laws funeral. She was only forty eight years old and had died of sepsis. On top of all of this, I was having problems with a couple of neighbours.

After my offences I was diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum, because my probation officer pushed for me to be assessed.


How long were you in prison for?

I was on remand in HMP Durham from Saturday 14th April to Friday 3rd August 2018, approximately sixteen weeks.


How did you hear about Clean Sheet?

I think I came across Clean Sheet once I was released and I was searching on Google for organisations that might be able to help me with my current circumstances. Not having been locked up before, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. Being released on a Friday afternoon and the authorities not expecting me to be released didn’t really help either.


How did Clean Sheet help?

Clean Sheet helped me by ringing or emailing me every fortnight or so, seeing how I was getting on with my job search. This helped because I would sometimes feel down with the amount of vacancies I was applying for, and the Clean Sheet phone call or email was just what I needed to help pick me back up and encourage me to carry on with what I was doing.


What’s life like for you now?

I’ve had my current job for just over a month now, which is going well, my colleagues are very friendly. I’ve also just recently passed my foundation year at University. If I hadn’t have got into trouble I wouldn’t have even thought about attending University – I’m the first in my family to attend.


What’s your hope for the future?

My hopes for the future are to pass my business degree in three years, achieving either a first or a 2:1. I also have aspirations of becoming a senior manager in a supply chain environment or becoming a regional manager for a retail organisation. Hopefully, if I am successful, then I might be able to help people in a similar situation to myself going forward, which would be great and also very rewarding.


What advice would you give someone in your shoes?

I would tell other ex-offenders struggling to find work to be resilient, to never give up, and to be persistent. I would also tell them to try not to take knock-backs personally. Everything happens for a reason. If they don’t get one job, it wasn’t meant to be, and hopefully an even better opportunity will come along.

(Name changed to protect identity)

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