Joe’s story

15 Jun 2023

In a short period of time, Joe’s life changed dramatically from bank worker to facing a criminal record

With tailored support from The Wallich, and his own resilience, Joe is embarking on a new, positive chapter in his life.

Read his story

“In 2017, I was excelling at my job at a bank, great social and family life and plenty of nice things.

In the space of two months, due to some illnesses, poor mental health management and substance use, I managed to throw everything away.

I was homeless and then faced a 24-month sentence. My first time in prison.

During my time in prison, I started to read a lot about Psychology, Criminology and Counselling; to better understand my downward spiral and to come to terms with how I let that happen.

By chance, I applied for a Peer Mentoring job, where I spent the next 12 months supporting other prisoners with their English, Maths and IT skills.

I absolutely loved the Peer Mentor role and felt like I found a purpose.

Fast forward to 2019, I had just finished my sentence, with no job opportunities and no real plan.

I struggled for 12 months to find employment, mainly due to my convictions, until I found a local job at a factory.”

Tailored and adaptable support

“I was referred to the BOSS project [The Wallich’s employability and wellbeing programme for people with offending backgrounds] by my Probation Officer, initially to complete a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) Card.

I started receiving support from BOSS who firstly, helped me achieve my CSCS Card to boost my chances of employment, and secondly, explored my options to get into support work.


There was always something in the back of my mind about the support work sector and, with my recent qualifications and experience, it was time to move on from the factory job.

Through their support and guidance, I started my first role at a temporary accommodation hostel with The Wallich.

This gave me all the knowledge and expertise I needed, to use my own lived experience to help support others in need and make a difference in people’s lives.”

A change of focus

“After spending six months as a Support Worker at the hostel, I am now a member of the BOSS team myself!

I have started a family and finally feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

It’s been an amazing journey so far and I absolutely love supporting my clients.

It’s amazing to help others achieve their goals and improve their wellbeing, who may have been in a similar position to me a few years ago.

I feel very fortunate and it is proof that anybody can turn things around and achieve whatever they want!”

The next chapter

“I’m currently studying to build up more knowledge and qualifications.

Fortunately, I have a partner who continues to push me to keep excelling.

I will continue to keep working hard, studying, enjoying life and starting my new role, as a father!

Who knows what the future will bring, but one thing is for sure; I am looking forward to it.”

If you’ve been affected by any of the topics mentioned in this case study, help and support is available. Visit our Help & Advice page to find out more.

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