Peter* is working for VGC at a rail depotanonymous orange

Operations manager Ian Keen first met Peter* where he delivered a talk to a group of serving offenders about working in rail.

As part of preparations for his release, Peter was eligible to find local work on ROTL (release on temporary licence). However, he had been in detention centres or prisons since he was 14, and with no previous experience, he was struggling to find work outside prison. Peter’s release conditions state that he will have to reside away from his home town. But without work or savings, he faced life on the street.

His challenges include difficulties with his mental health, possibly related to being institutionalised for most of his life. He also has a learning disability.

VGC agreed to sponsor Peter’s CSCS card, and worked with our client to hire him to work on an exciting long-term project at a rail depot.

He started working on the project as an assistant cleaner; now he has gained his PTS (personal track safety) qualification, he is also undertaking groundwork labouring. 40% of his net weekly wages over £20 go to charity Victim Support.

Peter has proved to be a hard worker. At times he has struggled with group dynamics out of the prison environment, and has needed extra support from Ian to talk through some mental health concerns. However, he has persevered and is fast becoming an invaluable team member.

Ian Keen, operations manager
Operations manager Ian Keen is mentoring Peter*

Now Peter is working full time, he can save money to help secure accommodation after his release. He has also started to rebuild his relationship with his daughter.

Peter says: “I’m really grateful to have been given this chance to get my life back on track.”

“You can make a difference helping individuals become productive and successful, both in work and their personal life. It has allowed me to develop mentoring skills for those who have been overlooked for a long time,” said Ian, his mentor. “At times it has its challenges; however the end result has been worth it.”

* Not his real name