With permission from his family, it is with a heavy heart that we have written a tribute for a person who worked alongside The Wallich for many years – BOSS Project Ambassador, Jimmy.
Photo credit: Huw John
We met Jimmy at a conference in 2016, when he won an Adult Learner of the Year award. He gave a speech about his journey, rehabilitation and his education.
We were incredibly impressed by his achievements and contacted him to tell him about our new BOSS (Building Opportunities, Skills and Success) project, to see if he would like to be involved.
BOSS works with people who have experience of the criminal justice system, to support them in moving on to the next chapter in their lives.
Jimmy was doing just that. He was working in construction in Cardiff at the time and gave up his lunchbreak to meet us.
We told him about BOSS, the ethos behind it and the aims of the project.
We invited him to be an ambassador for the project. We had no doubt his story would inspire others and wanted to offer him a platform to amplify his voice.
Keen as ever, Jimmy immediately took us up on the offer. He joined us at the official launch event for BOSS at the Pierhead Cardiff Bay in the winter of 2016.
He stood up in front of almost 100 people and spoke candidly about his journey and involvement with the criminal justice system.
Jimmy travelled to Cardiff regularly to take part in project meetings, steering group and the evaluation.
Jimmy spread the word of how to get involved with BOSS far and wide – to people who would benefit from the project and to people who could help make it a success.
Jimmy was still on his own journey and figuring out which paths to take and where to develop his skills. So, we offered support and guidance to him when he asked for it.
He was an incredibly motivated, driven and ambitious man. He had a variety of interests, skills and qualities and would often have a new business idea to share with us.
Jimmy was an asset to The Wallich. We are so grateful to have been a part of his life and for the impact his involvement had on those it continues support.
We know that Jimmy left a lasting impact on those who met and worked with him across a variety of sectors.
Though no words can truly express our sadness for his loss, we hope this tribute demonstrates our gratitude for his time and involvement with us.
Our thoughts remain with Jimmy’s family, friends and the people he inspired along the way during this difficult time.
Photo credit: Huw John
“For me, the raucous laughter and a similar, daft sense of humour, mixed with deep and meaningful conversations with Jimmy will remain with me.
To say he inspired me to do better with my life and the services we offer would be putting it lightly, he led the way and excelled in all he did.
Jimmy is, and will continue to be, greatly missed.”