Jon out of rut thanks to Academy programme - Tees Valley Jon joined the Street League Academy as he felt he was getting into a rut and needed support to move forward with his life. He had been unemployed for over a year, was relatively new to the area, and therefore did not know a lot of people and lacked confidence. The Academy gave him a chance to make friends and, after some initial reticence, his confidence steadily started to grow. Jon was the first participant to arrive in the morning and the last one to leave after each session. He began to volunteer at Street Football sessions and was took up a prominent role in organising a football tournament for Lifeline, a local drug and alcohol recovery team. On completing the Academy, Jon decided he wanted to join the Navy. Street League staff arranged an appointment at the local recruitment centre and took him along as Jon was unsure of the area. Unfortunately, the intake for the Navy was on hold at the time and they weren’t sure when recruitment would begin again. They discussed other services but Jon had set his heart on the Navy. Jon continued working closely with Street League staff, and was contemplating starting college in September, until he saw an advert for Apprentice Deckhands based 50 miles up the coast at Whitby Fishing School. Jon quickly applied and was invited for interview. Before he attended his appointment, the employer had contacted Street League staff for references and, during his interview, informed Jon that they were the best two references they had received for an applicant. Jon spoke enthusiastically about his experiences with Street League and how it had given him the confidence and support to get to this point in the application process. He impressed throughout and was offered the job. Jon moved up to Whitby and his determination led to him passing all of his exams and even being an extra in a Morrison’s advert starring Ant and Dec! He is now getting his practical experience out on the boats and his tutors are convinced that he is taking the steps on a very successful career ladder in the fishing industry.