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SMV’s story

SMV’s story

The true identity of this person has been changed to protect their identity and the integrity of the programme.

SMV is a 26 year old male who started getting into trouble with the law when he was 16 years old and has spent most of his youth committing crime. In total SMV was arrested 19 times for various offences including gang activity, drugs, firearms, burglary and ABH. He has also spent some time in HMP.

SMV first came into contact with DIVERT and became a participant of the programme whilst he was in custody at Brixton Police Station. After having the Divert Programme explained to him, he was booked out for a consultation to discuss his background and how he could be helped by the Divert team. He was made aware of the opportunities offered by the Divert programme which he an expressed an interest in.

During the consultation with DIVERT, SMV made a positive first impression as he was very polite and well mannered. He displayed a genuine desire to turn his life around and determination to make something of himself. When SM was asked questions about what he wanted from his life and where he saw himself, he said he wanted to find a job, to undertake some form of training and change his life for the better so he can become a better example to his young daughter in his care. He was provided with Divert contact details and was asked to get in touch once he had left custody, which he did.

An initial assessment was undertaken with SMV whilst in the custody suite, an intervention plan was compiled and agreed. The main areas of intervention were:

  • Sourcing opportunities for training and employment
  • Help with housing
  • Assisting with childcare
  • Mentoring
  • Obtaining benefits

Once SMV was released from police custody he was referred on to a two- week CSCS course. SMV was enrolled on a course at a London Construction Academy. He had impressed by not only attending on time but also by presenting as well-groomed and ready to start the day. On the morning of induction SMV had a Drug & Alcohol test, which he passed, and along with other course members was given an overview of the programme and background information about the construction industry. In class he was attentive, took part in the discussions and interacted well with the other students.

He behaved well throughout his time in class and demonstrated positive and cordial interactions with his course-mates during the lunch break when they were all able to chat freely. In the afternoon there was a visit from an employer who talked about his company and his career and the whole class was engaged by asking questions. Again, SMV listened attentively and seemed to take on board the advice and approach to finding a job provided by the speaker.

SMV demonstrated good attendance and punctuality as well as an ability to learn. He received qualifications in modules such as health and safety, site access traffic marshal training, customer service, fire marshal, first aid, as well as job interview preparation.

SMV undertook work for the Centre for Justice Innovation, where he participated in the creation of training for legal professionals, as well as the production of a leaflet to assist youths and young adults in understanding the criminal justice system, legal language and what to expect in court. At this point, SMV has also shown initiative and found his own employment and has continued to demonstrate positive changes by enrolling on a plumbing apprenticeship attending college once a week and 4 days on site learning the trade. SMV hopes to gain a Level 2 qualification in plumbing installations on completion.

SMV’s personal statement:

SMV said “I only have positive things to say about DIVERT. Where would I be without it? It is a very good programme. The people that work for it have helped a lot. It means a lot to me that they all have had my back through the rough. I just hope they are able to help others that are in the same position I was in”.