Matty was referred to Halifax Opportunities Trust by Halifax based charity, Happy days. At 30 years old, Matty quickly opened up to us, telling us that he had been arrested hundreds of times and has spent 15 out his 30 years in prison, for numerous different offences.

Matty no longer wanted to continue with the current lifestyle he was leading and had the goal of employment in mind. After facing challenges regarding prison, drug addiction and mental health, he needed support in achieving this goal.

He was paired with one of the mentors within the Hopeful Families project, which allowed him to receive ongoing one to one support. His Mentor began by assessing Matty’s needs and helping him to develop an action plan which identified that Matty would benefit from being able to gain a CSCS qualification (opening up job opportunities to him), from some debt advice and accessing mental health support.

The support package was arranged for him, including accessing some funding for him to complete his CSCS card. Once Matty felt ready and more confident he was introduced to our Progression Coach, Neil, who began acting as an ongoing mentor to Matty and continues to encourage and support him on his on-going journey.

Happy Days Charity were so impressed with Matty’s new found confidence and outlook on life, that they offered him a job. He is working successfully as a Gardener for them and regularly volunteers alongside Neil at Halifax Opportunities Trust’s outback garden.

When asking Matty what difference Hopeful families has made to his life he said “Everything! I no longer see myself as only a criminal and feel like I fit into society now. Not only have they helped me find work, but they have made me a better partner and dad too. I’m on the right track now & I am excited for the future. ’’