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  • Joe Sims

2 nominations this week…

Good morning you beautiful lot! Some really thoughtful and beautiful nominations coming in that really warm the cockles of our hearts. We try and get round to as many as we possibly can so please keep them coming as we can’t do it without your fantastic support in identifying where our £500 can make a difference.

I spent last week working with the amazing Trussell Trust, a beautiful group of people who’s end game is to put themselves out of business by making sure no one needs to use food banks ever again. They are running a campaign called Tea for Trussell by raising a few quid to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea and a cake with a friend, the link is here https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-involved/fundraise/events/tea-for-trussell/ And this got us to thinking about Neil Connolly’s lovely nomination about a community pantry in Winchester. We’ve split the pot between them and the relentlessly brilliant Nathalie Pownell who is working with https://spark2life.co.uk/ and has identified a young man in desperate need of a second chance and one who she is so proud of. It’s so lovely to hear from you and all the incredible things you do for others in your communities. Keep on keepin’ on! Kindness Matters Loads of love The 500 Reasons Admin Team x Hello I’d like to submit a young man who I am mentoring and have been since he first came to HMYOI Feltham 3 years ago. Since my involvement in Feltham I have been asked by an organisation called SPARK2LIFE to continue my mentoring with some of the men I have worked with as they transition out of prison and back into society. This is to help be a bridge, to advocate on their behalf and work with them to build them up for success. He has spent most of his life in the U.K but is facing deportation to Ghana, a country that he hasn’t been to since a boy and where he has no immediate support. He has a solicitor who is fighting his case with the home office but he has no access to public funds and cannot work while he awaits a result. He has no memory of his mother - she left the family when he was small - and his relationship with his father broke down when he wasn't much older so he is currently living with an aunt. He’s only recently been released from prison despite his sentence ending over a year ago - before the world went into a lockdown and the prison estate went into an even stricter lockdown. This is due to him being on deportation bail and having no home initially to be released to. While in prison far beyond his release date, I watched this young man endure the extended stay in custody and with no confirmed release date in sight with dignity and he grew from being someone too shy, ashamed and self conscious to look you in the eye to become a brave young man, aware of his mistakes, who was well liked and who was thought highly of by staff and peers alike. He had a job in the prison, engaged in whatever he could to turn his life around so as to improve his opportunities upon release. With little family support, Professional people, whose care he has been under, have said that the working relationship he built with myself has been the most stable and positive relationships he’s experienced during his lifetime. I find this devastating that a stranger / mentor he met in prison became his closest support . He’s a young man who’s served his sentence time and more, is prepared to learn from his previous choices, and wants to move forward but is currently unable to as his future hangs above him like a question mark. He has to take 3 buses to the deportation centre from his home in north London to Hounslow every week to sign in. However he is only given a bus voucher for 1 bus so he is having to ask his aunt for money which is humiliating and puts pressure on the already strained relationship with his aunt and increases the difficulty of getting to his appointments. He doesn’t know I’m asking, but I’d like to nominate him for £250.00 to help him get to the centre each week and to help afford food etc. Nat x

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