Your Stories

This section contains the stories of people with convictions, with the focus being on life as a law-abiding person with convictions – covering both the successes and the difficulties.

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Lisa’s story

Lisa From living alone at 17, Lisa has just won a YJB prize for her youth work I was 17 when I got my own place. I was with a few mates before that, just sofas and that sort of thing, which was horrible because I never

J’s story

J J was a victim of gun crime, which he puts down to today’s street culture I got three shotgun wounds to my legs. I was on the street when a car randomly pulled up and men in balaclavas wound down the window and shot me. I

Damian’s story

Damian Damien is working with the CRAE to help improve conditions for young people in custody I got involved with the Children’s Rights Alliance because of my past experience of being in custody. I wanted to change that experience for people who go through it. I especially

Martin’s story

Martin From tough estates to TV, Martin says he now feels valued and listened to I was born in Manchester, but moved to Bradford when I was a baby and have been here all my life. I have some good and some bad memories of Bradford. Times

Zoe’s story

Zoe Zoe is hoping that her new home will give her stability I’ve moved quite a number of times in my life. I’m now on my 27th time and live in Huddersfield. I’ve lived in London four times, Scarborough, Blackpool, parts of Leeds, all over the place

Being heard

Ricky Sykes In a series of recorded interviews, User Voice’s Ricky Sykes gets a different look at the lives of the young people he works with One of the highlights of my work with User Voice so far has definitely been interviewing young people for this section

17 and homeless

Lucy Lucy was kicked out of home on her 17th birthday My mother and I have never had a good relationship; the difference in our personalities has always kept a brick wall between us. For years there’s been tension in our household and even months when my

Finding order after an order

Harley Harley writes about how a big decision in her teens led to a fulfilling role as an apprentice youth engagement worker through User Voice. I first realised I wanted to get into this type of job when I was on an order myself. I realised that working

Life beyond prison

Shauna When Shauna left prison she knew she would have to shed friends and stay motivated. After being sentenced to five years in prison at the age of 19, life beyond prison become hard to visualise. I am now 22 and have been out of prison for

User Voice at Children’s Commissioner Takeover Day 2012

Zak On Friday 23 November, Zak* was invited to take part in the Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day, a national event which gives children and young people the chance to shadow jobs and have their voices heard A number of young people from around the country spent the

From Strangeways to the ‘Write Stuff’

James MacVeigh James MacVeigh’s first play hit the stage in a prestigious London theatre. Here he tells the story of how he went from robber to writer. My Dad kicked me out in 1963 at the age of 16. After I was caught breaking into cars, I

Writing with Conviction

David Honeywell Education – or should I say my lack of it was the very thing that made my life a very long up-hill struggle. And it was my poor schooling and bad teachers that made me despise anything to do with classrooms or learning for over