Leon’s Story

I grew up in care, when I left care I got into a lot of trouble and I ended up going to prison. When I got out I didn’t have anywhere to go so I spent some time sofa surfing but eventually I found myself sleeping rough on the streets. That meant that I got really unhealthy and ended up developing some serious health conditions.

I came to Mustard Tree because I was engaging with the probations P3 team, they referred me to Mustard Tree and I wanted to go because I wanted to get more active, to develop a routine and to meet new people and start making friends.

Whilst I’ve been at Mustard Tree I’ve volunteered in the community shop and on the reception desk so I could get some work experience and experience of helping people who are more vulnerable than me. I also did the customer services course and I’ve joined in with the art classes, which are great fun and a really good way of getting to know people and making friends. For me, I think Mustard Tree is a fantastic organisation that does amazing work in helping people get out of the troubling situations they’re in and helping people to engage back with society again. That’s what they did for me and it’s changed my life!

I think that if I hadn’t come to Mustard Tree then I would be sat on my bed, alone, smoking weed with no plans for the future and no hope. But because I came here I’m not doing that and I do have plans. I want to get a career in support work, maybe even go to uni and study psychology. I had an interview for a support worker role with Shelter recently. I didn’t get the job, but it was amazing to even get an interview, it really boosted my confidence and I’ve now started volunteering at Shelter to get more experience. I know I’ll get a job soon and I’m looking forward to making a difference and helping people.

Leon (Age 23)