In a slightly different format to usual, Jamie wrote his own story as he was able to present to a corporate group recently who were pledging their support for Mustard Tree. He says “I was so nervous going to stand up in front of so many people which I had never really done before to share my story. But I wanted to share with them how amazing Mustard Tree is. It was such a good experience and I was buzzing afterwards! Everyone clapped me and made me feel really welcome. I just want to do it again!”
Here is Jamie’s story.
“When I was fourteen I was taken in to care as my mother could not cope. Whilst in care I went to Woodlands CDC in Wrexham, North Wales. I built up my confidence to the point that aged only fifteen I plucked up all the courage that I could muster to tell my therapist that my mother and uncle abused me when I was younger. This lead to a police investigation and my Uncle was sentenced to a lengthy prison term.
I was at woodlands until I was 18 but when I was 19 I started my long slide into the prison service and I spent eight years just yo-yoing in and out of prison. A couple of other charities supported me during this time but I continued to lead this same life style.
A further knock for me was the break-down of my relationship and the loss of contact with my son, although this was the hardest thing for me it also gave me the hardest kick up the backside I have ever had. I decided there and then that I was never going back to prison. I decided I wanted to start again.
I got a diagnosis of emotionally unstable personality disorder, depression and anxiety in December 2013 and I became suicidal. I was very fortunate that a police sergeant intercepted me making a big mistake and this further helped me to get back on the right path.
In 2017 I joined the mustard tree family and I was feeling down, worthless and like I was no use to anybody. I started in the warehouse and after a month in the warehouse I was approached by our logistics and retail manager who asked if I would be interested in working in the MT shop. I started working there on a temp basis and I was amazed by the amount of friendship and camaraderie that I felt at being a part of that team. This was a new feeling for me as I had never felt part of a team or family before. I am no longer on my own trying to fight the world. I have a network of support to cheer me on and make me feel I can achieve anything,
It is really hard for me to verbalise just how important being part of Mustard Tree is to me, it has taken me from feeling I am worthless to feeling as though I can achieve anything I put my mind to.”