In 2016, I was arrested after assaulting three people while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. One of them was a policeman. It wasn’t my finest moment.
I found myself on probation and knew things had to change – if not for myself, then for my children. I started to cut back on my use of drugs and alcohol, although I still hung on to daily cannabis use. I thought it was my safety net.
In October, my probation officer introduced me to a peer mentor from Cyfle Cymru. The plan was to take me forward and get something out of our weekly meetings. I was reluctant at first, but thought it couldn’t hurt to have a chat because I was going to be there anyway!
Over the next few weeks my mentor explained and helped me to understand all the things I could do to help myself and move myself forward. One thing I was interested in was a course called Intuitive Thinking Skills.
I agreed to attend, and over the four days I discovered how my reliance on cannabis could be controlled.
I haven’t looked back. All my drug tests have been negative, and I have now attended a total of 12 different courses. It’s keeping me in a positive frame of mind, and I’m now looking forward to where the next six months will take me.
I feel ready to look for work and get off benefits. I have started applying for jobs. Ideally, I would like to train as a mentor to help those who might find themselves where I was.
Cyfle Cymru is delivered by members of the DACW Consortium.
Cyfle Cymru is part of the Welsh Government’s Out of Work Service, supported by the European Social Fund.