Jamie, 21, from Lanarkshire, had been out of work for a number of years before joining Street League’s Academy. He had left school at 16 without any qualifications but having found work in a garage, was made redundant only six months into the job. Jamie fell in with the wrong crowd and was smoking cannabis on a daily basis. He had become demotivated with life, and ended up in a young offenders’ institute on two separate occasions for minor incidents involving the police. Jamie was released by a judge on a tag with restrictions on how many times he could leave the house.

When Jamie found out about Street League he was depressed and his confidence had hit rock bottom. However, when a neighbour of Jamie’s told him about the programme, and how he could gain qualifications whilst receiving help applying for jobs, he decided to give it a try. For the first time in three years Jamie had a routine of getting up in the morning and a shape to his day. He met other young people on the programme who wanted to find a job and go to college and it changed his way of thinking. Jamie received support in writing his CV, and having developed his ICT skills, was able to send his first email, learn how to use the internet to carry out job searches, and send application forms.

Jamie is now at college and halfway into the first year of a construction course. He hasn’t missed a day and has been working at the weekend with a local construction firm to gain more work experience. Jamie hopes that by continuing to work hard he will be able to secure a permanent position when he becomes a qualified bricklayer.

Jamie said: “Being at Street League really helped my confidence and for the first time in a long time I actually believed I might be able to get back into work or even get into college. I found that the football really helped me to grow as a person and to think about others, working as a team motivated me to work harder.

"The employability workshops were a great help and I was able to pick out skills and qualities that I never realised I had. With the help of Lynsey and John I applied for three courses at two different colleges which is something I would never have dreamed of doing. My main highlight was achieving my qualifications. I had a real sense of achievement and my family were just as proud as I was.

"Street League has completely changed my life. It has changed the way I think about myself, it has given me a sense of self-worth, confidence, pride, and friends. Street League took a chance on me and I feel that I have worked hard to show them that I have appreciated the opportunity. I have a routine, I am fitter and healthier, I earn some money at the weekends and am no longer in trouble with the police.”