Would you like to be a part of changing the course of someone’s life for the better? Keep reading…

Foundations To Change’s, Jay and Andy are raising money to pay for two prisoners to get the opportunity that Jay got eight and a half years ago. To go straight from prison into rehab. A stepping stone that was last afforded almost 9 years ago before funding cuts forced it to stop.

In the UK, the latest MOJ statistics report states that adults released from custodial sentences of less than 12 months (most common in petty crime, most commonly committed by addicts) had a proven reoffending rate of 61.0%. 
Young offenders, 15 to 17-years-old have the highest reoffending rate, closely followed by the 10 to 14-year-old offenders. The proven reoffending rate for juveniles is higher than adults.

Andy and Jay were these statistics once. Their choices at an early age resulted in them entering the criminal justice system at just 14 years old. 

“The only relationships we had acquired through the years of growing up with drug addiction, offending, street homelessness and reoffending were other people that were stuck in the same cycle as us. Suffering from mental health issues, broken and beaten with no hope in life, we would find ourselves back in jail, again and again, asking ourselves, how have we ended up back here?”

“We wanted to change so badly but we didn’t know how? Where did we start? How did we stay clean?. We never saw it happen. People didn’t get clean and make a better life for themselves starting out from where we were. Once you were using the drugs we were, you didn’t see many success stories.”

“We knew that there must be more to life, but we had no tangible evidence. We were offered some professional resources such as social workers, but we often couldn’t relate to the professionals and they couldn’t relate to us either.”

Until one day, something changed for Jay and Andy. They met a professional, but this time he had been where they had been. He had been to the depths of despair that they had been. He had experienced the similar traumas, he had used drugs just like they had and yet, here he was sitting in front of them, as a professional, telling them it was possible to find a way out of this mess. 

Andy’s Story

“My path to recovery wasn’t a straight one. I had to visit several detox units but I made it in the end, the professionals with lived experience understood and never gave up on me.”

“I was able to secure a place in rehab whilst on bail but upon leaving I received a two and a half year jail sentence during which I went straight back to using drugs again. Thankfully, the drug worker I met never lost touch with me and when I was released from prison seven and a half years ago, he supported me back into rehab.”

“My path to recovery wasn’t a straight one, I had to visit several detox units but I made it in the end and the professionals with lived experience of addiction understood and never gave up on me. They were right not to. I am now a dedicated family man, with a promising career as a local manager of a Charity for vulnerable people with complex needs. I am now four and a half years clean”

Jay’s Story

” For the first time, I had the opportunity to turn left when those prison gates opened and go to treatment instead of turning right to the Off Licence”

“When I met that professional in prison with whom I had so much identification, for the first time in years, I believed change was possible for me. I dared to feel a little bit of hope and it made me ask him – What did you do to change?”

“This person in front of me had the knowledge I needed to get me out of the hole I was in. At the end of that jail sentence with the support he put in place, I had the opportunity to turn left when those gates opened and go to treatment instead of turning right to the Off Licence. A choice that was all too familiar because there was nothing to look forward to when you left jail. No direction or a place to land. Maybe a bail hostel full of using addicts or the streets.”

“Practising that blind faith in someone else was the best decision I made eight and a half years ago and my life has changed so much. I went on to stay clean, have a family and a successful career. I am currently working with the NHS to develop a youth pathway to divert away from the criminal justice system, something I am really passionate about. Helping people just like I was and working to prevent them from getting as far as I did before that help comes”

Andy and Jay joined forces and are now the proud founders of ‘Foundations To Change’.

No prisoner has had a straight pathway into rehab from Winson Green since the year Jay changed his life and now both Jay and Andy are in the privileged position to help people who are just where they were. They want 2021 to be the year this changes for good. But they need your support!

Foundations To Change is privileged to be going into HMP Birmingham’s Winson Green to facilitate awareness groups as professional’s with lived experience. Delivering this to professionals and prisoners.

“We believe that if the prisoners get an understanding of the barriers/triggers within themselves, by giving them the basic tools to stop them making the same mistakes, delivered with the message of hope, that change is possible. We are proof of that.

If they can make a success of this, then they can prove this is worth the financial backing it deserves for the next generation of Jays and Andys that need support with their problem and not more prison sentences.

Eight years ago a ripple effect started with Jay and you can help us to kick start it again because the person you’re helping today could be helping a family member in years to come.

How Can You Help?

Andy and Jay will be jumping on their bikes in April 2021 to cycle 100 miles from Cambridge back to Birmingham in 8hrs. If you would like to help the lads raise the funds needed to pay for two places in rehab, please follow the link to JustGiving and please give as much or as little as you can afford.