Exit Foundation is dedicated to providing support to those involved in and surrounded by street life. Through our 16-week bespoke mentoring programme, we are committed to helping individuals find a better life by assisting them into education, training, or employment. Find out more about some of the young people that we have helped in our case studies below.
After his time served in prison, Michael was forced to go from sofa to sofa to find a place to sleep. After a while, sofa surfing took its toll, he was no longer able to stay with friends and he ended up sleeping in a tent in a back garden. Michael wanted to work, but he found it difficult to be motivated with no secure roof or presentable hygiene for the workplace. This sent him down a very low spiral where eventually, he gave Exit Foundation a call.
We supported Michael with his general mental health as he wrestled with suicidal thoughts. We also provided him with the money to buy new clothes for an interview and accompanied him to a job fair where he was able to get a job on the spot.
Unfortunately, we were not able to get him directly into housing, but we were able to walk alongside him in this journey. We are proud to have given him the tools he needed to get a job to then progress into getting a roof over his head.
Ben was referred to us by a Youth Offending Service having just received intensive supervision and surveillance for 12-months. After an assessment, it was evident that Ben was not engaging with the service providers in the way he was meant to. Due to our flexible, bespoke approach, we decided that it would be best to undertake home visits with Ben going forward. This meant that we were able to build relationships with both Ben and his parents.
After approximately 3 weeks, Ben informed us that his desire was to work with motor cars. After approximately 6 weeks, Ben was placed onto a 12-month motor vehicle apprenticeship course, as requested by himself.
Over one year later, we received a phone call from Ben’s parents, who informed me that they had fallen into arrears with their rent due to personal issues. Exit Foundation wrote a supporting letter to the council and was able to provide emergency accommodation on the same day. Ben continues to be mentored by Exit Foundation.
Christopher was referred to Exit Foundation by his Youth Offending Service officer in the belief that mentoring was the best way forward. After an assessment, it was decided that Christopher would benefit from some kind of sports activity and he decided that he’d like to do boxing! Exit Foundation sourced a local boxing program and introduced Christopher to them. He appeared to be a natural at this sport, and within 3 months had become part of the boxing team.
Christopher later approached Exit Foundation to request assistance with finding employment that would suit and not interrupt his boxing training and progress. Exit Foundation sourced a zero-hour employment contract with a local organisation that enables Christopher to work when he requires.
Danny found himself serving a life sentence at the age of 17. He was involved in a serious incident in which unfortunately another person lost their life. After serving 18 years in custody Danny felt that he was ‘lost in the system’ with no adequate support. He had a parole hearing looming and felt that he could do with some extra support and advice.
Through his mother, Danny heard about Exit Foundation and the work that we do in supporting ex-offenders. Danny wasted no time in putting pen to paper and wrote a letter to Exit Foundation requesting support. After receiving the letter, Exit Foundation were keen to help and visited Danny at HMP Warren Hill.
Following this, Danny received regular mentoring with visits on a monthly basis and it became evident that he was serious about turning his life around. During this time, Danny also revealed that his passion was to try and stop young people from getting involved with gangs and street life. He disclosed that it ‘broke his heart’ to see the number of children now coming into prison with long-term sentences for serious crimes carried out for the sake of a postcode.
Exit Foundation supported Danny via a detailed report in support of his parole application. In 2019 Danny received his parole and was released from prison. It was stated by his solicitor and the parole board that a major part of this decision was due to the Exit Foundation report and support that was offered.
Danny continues to take part in the Exit Foundation mentoring program and is in training to work as a mentor. It is our opinion that Danny will have a great future working alongside us in helping young people to turn their lives around.
Tranele was identified by his Youth Offending Service (YOS) caseworker as a ‘troubled’ young man who refused to engage with service providers that he had been referred to. YOS decided to refer Tranele to Exit Foundation as a last resort in the hope that he would engage and receive support.
Due to our unique engagement process focusing on relationship, care and trust, Tranele engaged with his mentor and a good relationship developed between them. Tranele completed his 16 weeks mentoring program and was directed and supported into housing, college, training and employment.
Tranele is now unemployed and searching for a job. He continues to be supported by Exit Foundation and is currently attending our private gym on a weekly basis whilst we continue to support him back into employment.
Tranele has been working with Exit Foundation for approximately 18 months now and will continue to be supported for as long as he requires our support.
Cayhan made a self-referral to Exit Foundation after being informed about us by a pastor at a church he visited for help. Cayhan had found himself to be at ‘rock bottom’ after losing everything to a crack and heroin addiction. He had just lost his job and his flat, his family relationships had broken down and Cayhan felt that he had nothing left to live for. Exit Foundation received a phone call from Cayhan asking for our help. A mentor went along to see him and Cayhan informed us that he was ‘desperate’ for help and was willing to ‘try anything’ explaining to us that he had previously sought help in the past but nothing had worked.
Exit Foundation recognised that due to his deep level of drug addiction Cayhan needed to be referred to our parent organisation the ‘Teen Challenge Residential Rehabilitation Centre’ before he could start to rebuild his life. Cayhan completed the Teen Challenge program. He is now working as a driver in our furniture reuse centre, as a volunteer for Exit Foundation and is currently in training for church ministry.
Cayhan’s full story can be found on YouTube, here.
Sam made a self-referral to Exit Foundation after his sister (whom we had previously worked with) recommended us and our services. Sam had been arrested for a very serious charge and because of this, threats were made to his life by a notorious London-based gang that were taken by the police to be severe.
Following our meeting with Sam, it was deemed necessary that he needed to be moved out of his Borough immediately. Exit Foundation placed him into a hotel for the first two nights whilst we sorted out a safe house for him to move into. Sam was then taken to a different town, away from the location where he had found himself to be caught up in gang related activities. Here, he was supported into emergency housing.
After this, Sam was put through the Exit Foundation 16-week mentoring program. Once completed, his root problems identified and all relevant referrals made to other service providers, Sam was placed into employment.
Sam completely turned his life around, realising the value and self-worth that comes from earning an honest decent wage. Exit Foundation have now been working with Sam for over 3 years and are currently supporting him with starting his own business. The serious offence that he had been accused of at his time of referral was eventually dropped due to a lack of evidence.
We will continue to support Sam and remain here for him until we are no longer required.
It is with your support, that we are able to continue funding the mentoring programme and help individuals like Ali, Cayhan and Danny. If you’d like to help us continue supporting those ready to exit a life of gangs, crime and violence please use the button below to donate.
“Exit Foundation have been a valuable partner, assisting us in keeping young people safe by building excellent and meaningful relationships with often complex and difficult young people.”Lynn JamesTeam Manager, Youth Offending Service
“We are very and eternally grateful for organisations such as Exit Foundation who go the extra mile. Thank you.”Social WorkerCSC
“It has been a pleasure working with Exit Foundation and in particular Paul. The energy, enthusiasm and dedication that Paul has for his clientele are astounding. I have lost count of the work opportunities that Paul has offered to young people. Paul’s determination to overcome any problems or obstructions that may be a barrier for young people accessing the workplace is endless. And, despite young people on occasions not making the most of such opportunities Paul would always be the first to try and engage them on another occasion.
The young people I have spoken to have nothing but the utmost respect for Paul. One young person that had recently been released from custody was in awe that Paul had managed to get him a job within weeks from release.
I would love to work with Paul and Exit Foundation in the future and would not hesitate to sing Paul’s praises and recommend him to any organisation that could benefit from his ethos and work ethic.”PC MurrayYouth Offending Team
“We have been working with Exit Foundation for 18 months, they initially received funding in partnership with another voluntary organisation from the home office, to deliver interventions and workshops to young people involved in offending and knife crime.
I became immediately impressed at the level of engagement demonstrated with the young people and their ability to provide clear evidence and commitment in ensuring the young people gained confidence in the service and felt empowered to accept the support to pursue education training employment opportunities.
The organisation works well with statutory and voluntary partner agencies and has developed significant partnerships in addressing the contributory factors to offending behaviour.”Michelle EdwardsHead of Youth Offending and Complex Safeguarding
“Exit Foundation have worked with young people in safeguarding them and have a vast knowledge of how gang affiliation works. They are proactive in preventing further negative behaviour in view of their extensive knowledge thus providing what is needed to further safeguard young people.”Jeanette HunteProject Manager, Unique Support
“Thank you for all of your support and for helping me get to this point. If it wasn’t for Exit Foundation, I wouldn’t be doing this training and all of these good things. I really do appreciate the help and support you have given me! If it wasn’t for you, I would probably be back in prison by now. You have given me all of these great opportunities, helped me think differently and change everything around. Thank you, Paul, I am grateful for everything”T.G