What we've been up to this month:

Elton, 22 from West London, met his Switchback Mentor in HMP Pentonville. He wanted to make positive changes after release, but had no work experience and finds it hard to stick to things. Elton felt that having a Mentor and a training placement through Switchback after release was going to help him move forward.
 
Upon release, Elton faced a lot of challenges in avoiding short cuts as he was returning to an area where crime was the norm and his associates were still living that lifestyle. Despite an hour-long commute to Switchback, Elton worked in the training café twice a week for 12 weeks, and met his Mentor Milka most days to build stability in all areas from family relationships to confidence and communication.
 
Elton has now secured a job with an arts charity and moved on from Switchback, although he is always welcome back for support if he needs it. Elton is continuously pushing himself into his stretch zone, and last week he even asked a question directly to the government Prisons Minister in front of 150 people at a big public event put on by Switchback. Elton has grown personally and professionally and is continuing to unlock more opportunities for himself.
 
Elton said: “My experience with Switchback has been life-changing. If it wasn’t for Switchback I’d probably be back inside, eating off a greasy blue plate and sleeping with cockroaches. I’ve always gravitated to the wrong crowd and all my old friends are still doing illegitimate stuff or in jail. Growing up I never thought I’d ever be able to have a job, but I did my training with Switchback and now I’m working as an exhibition host and I’m really enjoying it. My Switchback mentor is always pushing me because she believes in me. My outlook on the world is different now. I’m a lot more positive, my people skills have improved and I can talk to anyone now. I’m an all-round happier person.”