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Paul's story

Paul is part of the Galvanise Team – delivering environmental improvement projects and grounds maintenance contracts across the Tees Valley. Members of the team are employed by Groundwork, having all recently been released from prison.

“I was given a 99-year license when I was released from prison. I was required to tell potential employers about it, which meant that I was regularly passed over for work placements. It got to the point where I thought I’d never get a job, but I’m a strong characterand just knew there was something out there for me."

“A friend of mine recommended Groundwork to me and I applied to join their Galvanise Team. I had to attend an interview and was over the moon when I was successful in getting the job. Meeting new people with different personalities was a bit of a challenge, particularly as we were all adjusting to life outside of prison, but the more we got to know each other the more we bonded and learned to work as a team. We’ve painted community centres, erected poly-tunnels and helped maintain local green space together."

“My time with Groundwork has really helped me to grow as an individual. I used to be very inwardly focused but have now learnt to look out for others and take more responsibility for the people that I spend my time with."

“I’ve recently been promoted to assistant supervisor of the team and have made lots of other changes in my life too. I’ve moved out of the area I used to live in, stopped smoking, cut down on my drinking and am now also engaged. I’ve never been happier in my life, and things are absolutely beautiful.”