John, 20, comes from a broken home, where his mother had mental health issues and he never knew who his father was. He became affiliated with a local gang. He was at one point a tenant in RPT's housing but was evicted for drug dealing and for bringing home undesirable friends.

After being robbed at gunpoint, he referred himself to the Hub and sought out a Link Worker who had previously been his housing support worker. John had decided to change his ways and had solid intentions of leaving his gang. However with no qualifications he was going to find it nearly impossible to pursue a normal life and career.

Despite having very little evidence of any sort of academic education, the Hub gradually got him to consider acquiring numeracy and literacy qualifications. After a month or so of gaining John's trust he agreed to meet with a volunteer, a retired teacher, who said she would help him with his literacy and numeracy.

Despite a wide gulf in their ages and backgrounds John engaged instantly with the volunteer and a very good rapport was established. He assiduously attended her tutorials and when for some reason he couldn't turn up he would always call and let her know, despite this sort of behaviour being alien to his character and experience.

After six sessions the RPT with the volunteer convinced him that he should attend a college course to attain numeracy and literacy qualifications. He was extremely apprehensive as he had a phobia of classrooms and the mere fact of admitting to weakness had been anathema to his gang persona.

Once the volunteer had guaranteed him that she would mentor him through the college course did he agree to try it. He was taken by a link worker to the college for an initial assessment and started his course the next week. He is currently still there, aiming for an Entry Level 2 qualification in numeracy and literacy.

RPT has helped him from a very low base, helping him with housing problems, helping him to write (and to write himself) the necessary letters, empowering him through small steps and attainable tasks to believe in himself and an alternative future to the one he was headed for.

John still has issues and a part of him is still connected to his old gang elements. However he is now a lot more confident of his own capabilities and has not fallen into any serious trouble.

He is grateful for what the RPT is doing for him and has recommended us to his cousin and other friends of his to help sort out their lives as well.

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