Rich says:”You don’t need to lie to get far in life. Tell the truth, you get further.”

“LandWorks gives me the enthusiasm to change. Otherwise, if I didn’t come here, I’d probably be doing the same stuff I was doing when I wasn’t here. It helps me look at things differently. Certain situations, like instead of getting stressed and getting angry, I can now think of different strategies to get out of it. Before I wouldn’t have been able to. I’d have just flipped instantly, but coming here, it’s changed me. I can handle not big groups, but biggish groups, whereas before I wouldn’t be able to. So, it’s helped me with my confidence and that. I appreciate it. That’s why I enjoy coming here. It’s not a place where you feel like … you’re not always thinking I’m here because I’ve done something like a horrible crime. I am here because I’ve done that, but they don’t make you feel like you’re here … like I was saying earlier, if people show you respect, you’re going to respect them and you’re going to want to do stuff. If you’ve got someone stood there at you all day going do this, do that, you’re not going to want to get up in the morning and go there.

That’s another thing why I enjoy coming here because you always learn something new, you’re always doing something new every day. Another thing why I enjoy coming here is because it’s a nice atmosphere to be around. When you’re stressed and you come here, it’s like you get to that gate and it all lifts off you. You haven’t got a worry and that’s another thing I enjoy coming out here because it’s stress free. I can do, not what I want to do, but I can do the stuff that Chris tells me to do without worrying. If you’re on a building site and you mess up, you know you’ve messed up, but here, if you mess up, there’s always something to make it better or someone to help you get it better. That’s what I enjoy and it’s friendly people. Do you know what I mean? You could go to some places and they could be happy for a minute and then it all changes and they’re all moody. That’s what I like here, everyone smiles, everyone’s got respect for each other, no matter what your past is or what you’re here for, everyone gets along and that’s what I enjoy. That’s why I like it…

When I first came here I was a little bit nervous because I didn’t know what I was expecting. My probation officer said that Chris and all of you were really nice here and I’d get along. He said don’t ‘f’ about. He was just saying how Chris gives people opportunities. He was just explaining what it’s all about at first because I was high alert or something where I had to be escorted, where people watch me, supervision. I had to be supervised every week. So, when I came out here, it all changed…

I like construction, woodwork, DT, art, isn’t it? That’s a brilliant thing that thing, the DT. And just doing ground maintenance with Martin. I’m always moving about. I love physical work. I hate sitting in somewhere with a pen and paper. That’s another thing I enjoy here, you’ve always got something to do. I like cooking as well. Certain places you’ve got to do the same thing every day, where here, you don’t. Chris actually asks you what you want to do. That’s another good thing. People don’t just presume, they ask. That’s good communication. I enjoy it…

I was lucky not to get sent down. I think it was because … I said to the judge, if you give me this opportunity, I won’t let you down. The judge was saying to us “do you feel remorseful?” At first, I said I didn’t, then I realised, so, I wrote the judge a letter saying I was sorry for what I did and was remorseful for what I did. He said he’d give me a suspended sentence. He sent everyone else down, not me because I said I was sorry. You might as well. You know that you’ve done it. You’re only going to get caught out, so what’s the point in keep lying, it’s only going to make it worse. I think that was the biggest step for me, telling the truth, especially from the culture … when you come from the gangs, it’s hard to tell the truth because that’s when people start making accusations and they snitch on you. There’s no point though, because you don’t get nowhere in life lying.

That’s what I’ve learnt from coming here as well because everyone was just so honest and truthful here. It makes you think. You don’t need to lie to get far in life. Tell the truth, you get further.”


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