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  • Joe Sims

Second Chances…

Morning all, this week is all about second chances. Our brilliant member Rich has been working with a charity called https://key4life.org.uk/ who’s aim simply is to give young offenders and those at risk a second chance. Liam is one such guy. Growing up in unimaginably difficult circumstances and trying to atone for and rectify previous missteps as he makes provisions for a bright future. He’s a young man with a single minded vision to make a huge success of the environmentally conscious catering company he’s building starting with the burger van he’s looking to buy from the charity. (He also donates 20% of his profits back to the charity that helped him!) His frankness, honesty and vision for the future is refreshing and we wish him every success as he sets about realising his dream. Best of luck Liam! Here’s the nomination: Dearest 500 Reasons Team, Thank you for all the hard work you do. I recently met Liam through work, he inspired me greatly and made me really want to help him. I am working quite a bit with the Charity Key4Life, I don’t know if you know them, but they are doing amazing work in helping reduce youth reoffending with a programme for young men in prison or at the risk of going to prison. The national average rate of reoffending in young male adults is 74%. After the Key4Life programme the rate is 8%. Incredible. Liam is trying to make a life for himself. He wants to start his own business, operating a burger van. To buy the Burger Van he currently leases from the Key4Life charity is £8000, He has saved a chunk already but I would love to give him the boost he really needs and deserves. We can all make mistakes, but the determination to change under such adverse circumstances is something I am in awe of. Here is Liams Story. Thanks Again Richard. Well where do I start? With my back story. I grew up in a family wrapped up in addiction, my mum was in and out of prison, taking the hardest of drugs. This led me and my brother, jake, to witness a lot of stuff we shouldent have from a young age. When I was 14 my mum went to rehab and got better. But by which point I had now already began my own criminal activity's to, ironically help her and to look after my brother jake. By 17 i found myself deeply involved in illegal activity’s in particular the production of drugs. I was taking them myself. One evening i was attacked by 2 men with machetes for the drugs. I later, foolishly, retaliated and at 18 found myself serving a 6 year prison sentence for this. During this time I managed to get control of my demons and find myself again. After serving 3 years i found myself being released determined to change but unable to due the lack of opportunity’s for myself. After just 2 months I was sent back to prison for bad behaviour and served a further 2 and a half years. This is when i fell in love with my beautiful partner Amber . I also lost my nan, she looked after me and my brother while my mum was either in jail or rehab. It was then I swore to never put someone I love again through my absence when they needed me. It was then the universe gifted me this charity called key4life. Now I could really change my life if i wanted it . Key4life introduced me to Yeovalley who offered me a opportunity to accommodate the change within myself upon release. I was released in 2017 and worked the next 3 years with YeoValley looking after the land while supporting key4life with school talks, going into prisons, seminars, community’s and working on thier burger van promoting change and trying to pay it forward. I’ve been trading myself now for 3 months under my own business “Execo Flavours” which represent “Exclusive and eco-friendly“ as our products are exclusive to us and we recycle 100% of our waste. Though i’m only 3 months in i already have envisioned and planned growth of having multiple vans offering different services to accommodate events such as weddings, partys, festivals, car boots, and partner up with other business to offer the resources they lack. I do apologise Richard i might have rambled on a bit then hopefully i’ve gave you part of my vision.
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