Jack has been in and out of care since his father died when he was ten. In July 2019, he was referred to a Look Ahead service after unsuccessful stays with other care providers in London. “It was a difficult time for me when I joined Look Ahead” Jack said, “I felt incredibly low. I had bad experiences where I was previously, and I clashed with staff at other services on several occasions. I even made myself homeless at one point as I couldn’t handle the pressures of being in care”.
“When Jack came to Look Ahead, we quickly realised he had some challenges” recalls Glen, Jack’s Support Worker. “He had a lot of mistrust from his previous experiences and was struggling to work with our staff and other customers. I knew that we needed to patient with him and be clear and consistent in how we communicated with Jack while he was with us”.
When asked about the support he received, Jack said “Glen was really interested in getting to know me as a person. That’s when I started to believe things could be different here. The support was based around me and what I wanted to do, which is different to other services I’d been to. Our regular one-to-one keywork sessions helped me develop as a person and make some progression in how I approached things”.
“The service has changed my life. There’s nothing I can do or say to express how grateful I am to have stayed here”.
“There was one time where we were having a BBQ at the service and families were invited. It was my niece’s birthday so Glen helped me learn how to cook a dish for her and it was a success. I only ever got takeaways before, it great to learn how to prepare meals for myself and others!”
“I found that once Jack had gained trust with me, he was more open to other people in the service” said Glen, “we helped him realise we were there to help, not the enemy”.
Glen played a key role in helping Jack getting back into employment “Glen found a vacancy as an Operational Support Officer at a nearby prison. I had never imagined working in a place like this, but Glen helped me prep for my interview, calm my nerves, and made me confident”.
Jack still works at the prison and wants to build on this experience by becoming a volunteer police officer in the future. “I’ve always had an interest in police work, and I want to use my life experiences to empathise with and help other people in the community”.
Amna, Contract Manager at the service, said “the progress Jack has made with us has been a team effort, but we couldn’t have done this without Glen’s humility throughout the support. He’s provided excellent support, in keeping with our values, to really make a difference on his life. This is Jack’s longest successful placement, he’s able to manage his own money and living space, and that is thanks to the support he received.”
“I always got the feeling from Glen that the support was genuine. He cared about me and it didn’t feel like he was doing it because he got paid” said Jack. “The service has changed my life. There’s nothing I can do or say to express how grateful I am to have stayed here”.
Learn more about our Young People services here.