This place is all about growth. Everybody is growing here. I’ve matured immensely over the last six months. I’ve got a brighter future now and a sense of purpose. That’s been the biggest outcome for me, over and above the education stuff.  Having said that, on the education side I’ve realised I am intelligent!  So one of the main highlights is that I passed my first exam with 98%.  Rax, one of the tutors in the Leicester centre helped me to achieve that.

When I came here I was dysfunctional, dismantled, broken, in pain and lost.  I felt like a baby that had no direction and no home.  I now see TwentyTwenty as my home.  It’s been so supportive, it’s like being in a relay and they’re holding the baton with me and running with me, guiding me and giving me direction and pace, so I will now be able to take the baton forwards on my own.

As well as the lessons, I’ve had a mentor, Jean, who has been amazing.  She’s been like a mother to me with her wisdom, intelligence, awareness about life.  She’s really helped me to get my senses together. I’ve also had counselling from Nicole…. “wooah!”.  That’s really helped me to be free and to become the person I am. John has been my pastoral support. He’s my older bro. packed with wisdom.  You’re dynamite.

And little things have really made a big difference as well.  Just having some food to take home when I didn’t have enough money – it’s like your parents would do, they’d give you some food and support, and that’s what I found here. Overall I feel like I’ve really matured, understand myself better and am becoming who I want to be.  Getting some qualifications along the way is obviously helpful as well!  But for me it’s more about finding purpose from the experiences I’ve been through.

So what’s my future now?  I’m already being given responsibilities, for example I’m the Young Person’s Representative at the YMCA where I live.  I’m also writing a script for a play which is going to be performed at the YMCA, to communicate my understanding of life. I want to do a degree in Youth and Community Development at university.  Long term, I intend to create a business that’s purpose is to empower young people - to build a bridge for them to find their way back into the world, reconnect with their families, and create positive lives.  So it would involve consultancy, training, workshops.  I think I’m a freelancer.

So thank you TwentyTwenty for your grace, your love, your amazing hospitality, your patience with me (‘cos I’m not an easy guy) and for helping me find my purpose and a route to getting there