I have known George Turner for over eleven years. Our relationship started when I was placed on a supervision order from the courts and placed on a program called ISSP (Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme) aimed at preventing young kids from reoffending and help them get into a constructive activity such as education rather than committing a crime.
Once I had finished this programme, George continued to support me, to help me keep out of trouble. This included providing opportunities such as educational courses, housing and general support in helping me to see that I could change.
In 2008 when I was released from prison, I contacted George to ask him for help because I reached a point in my life where me changing was my only option if I wanted to have a future that didn’t involve me wasting my life in and out of prison.
George helped me with my housing because at the time I was homeless. Not long after this that I unfortunately went back to prison. When I came out George continued his work with me and sorted out a meeting with a film writer/producer Paul Van Carter that worked for Revolver Entertainment.
The meeting went well but not long after I got recalled back to prison so I thought that was the end of that, but George got in touch with me again. George handed over my details to Paul, because he was still very interested in me and what I might be able to offer this film. Paul sent me the script and I read over it and edited it and then George sorted out a visit for them to come and see me in prison, where we spoke about the film and some of my views on it. George kept in contact with them on my behalf up until the point I was released from prison and it was at this point that I fully got to know more about Carney’s Community. Within a few days of my release, they sorted out some voluntary work with Paul at the Revolver Entertainment studios, 2-3 times a week where I helped out with the final edits of the film.
Without George and Carney’s Community I wouldn’t be in the situation I am in now. Being credited on this film by Paul meant the world to me, because it showed me that I still have a lot to offer everyone around me and myself. Paul has even asked me if I would be interested in working on his next two films with him. Meanwhile, Carney’s Community have also put me forward to do a theatre course that will give me the opportunity to do some acting, which will widen my options for future work when it comes to working on the films with Paul. They have also given me details on a script writing competition which will give me an idea of what script writing is all about and also give me the confidence needed move into that direction. It was only the other day that I went down there and they helped me to fill in an application for a gym instructor course level 2.
Carney’s Community helped me gain the confidence to look forward and take the steps, myself, to change my life and without them I think I would of come out of prison stuck in that same cycle of crime and prison. I want to thank everyone at Carney’s Community for all that they have done for me from the start up until this very day. Thank you so much.
CC (September 2012)
Since writing this testimony Carney’s Community continued to work with CC, where he volunteered for the charity by helping deliver warm-ups and warm-downs in our weekly boxing sessions. He also attended presentations with George Turner to try and gain potential employment or work experience providers. One of these presentations was to a high-class hotel in central London.
The hotel was incredibly impressed with CC and how he presented. So much so that they asked George for more background information on CC. It is fair to say that the hotel were shocked at the 4 page CRB record which included some very serious convictions. However, the hotel were open minded enough to invite CC for an interview for a front of house porter position that they had coming up. During this interview CC explained some of his offences, along with the events that lead up to them, discussing his upbringing, but ensuring he took responsibility for the decisions he had made that led to these convictions. He was then offered the position on a paid 6 month temporary basis. He worked hard at this position and, despite having numerous other challenges at the time (such as homelessness) CC impressed so much that he was offered a permanent contract, along with a pay rise.
CC could credit you (Carney’s Community) for the introduction, however the offer of a full time position was 100% credit to himself, all down to his positive and cheerful manner and his willingness to learn. (Hotel CEO)
The charity’s support will continue to be offered to CC, to ensure that he remains on such a positive track and he has agreed to help continue our core idea of creating a “Virtuous Cycle”, by mentoring other participants and helping out with other group activities.