Lewis grew up in a deprived area of South London and as a youngster, he did not enjoy school despite being bright and having great potential. As a result, he began socialising with the wrong crowd. Once Lewis left full time education, he felt frustrated by the lack of opportunity around him though he had managed to secure temporary employment in retail and started becoming apathetic about his future. He became negatively influenced by his peers and indulged in offending behavior which reached a climax when Lewis was sent to prison.

Shortly after being released, he undertook a bespoke programme with Making The Leap, which consisted of one-to-one sessions to help him find work as well as mentoring sessions to help him make the transition from prison back into mainstream society. Despite having previous work experience, his criminal conviction was proving to be a barrier in his quest for a job and this was affecting his confidence. Through the support of Making The Leap, his confidence and self-esteem grew and for the first time in his life he was able to begin to identify his immediate and long-term career goals. He began to realise that his passions lay with helping others and he wanted to work in an environment where he could give back to society. So Lewis applied for the position of Trainee Support Worker for a housing charity which he was really interested in and when he received a letter informing him that he had been successful, he was lost for words.

Lewis started his new role in January 2012 and he is thoroughly enjoying it. His self-confidence and self-belief have grown tremendously and he is inspired to fulfil his potential. Despite previously having felt education was not right for him, through continued support from Making The Leap, he is now attending university to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

“The support and motivation I have received from Making The Leap has been immense and that’s not something I can say I have come across too many times before. I will be forever grateful for all that they have done for me and no matter how far I go from the point when we first met, I will never be able to forget the impact that they have had on my life.”

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