I first went to TAB when I was 13 yrs old as I was struggling at school; I met with Justin and we had a few sessions, but at that time I wasn’t ready for change and soon drifted back to a life that revolved around cannabis and not really caring about what happened to my life. Even though I left Justin said to me that when ever I felt ready he would be there to support me.
At 14 yrs old I was thrown out of school for my behaviour and attitude towards teachers, I went on to finish my school years at Meadowbrook College which is a school for kids that don’t get on in main stream education. I didn’t do too good as cannabis was playing a big part in my life and making me very lazy around doing anything worthwhile with my life.
I decided it was time to try again and make something of my life but I didn’t have a clue where to start and then I remembered the support Justin had offered me so I dropped him a message through his Abingdon Bridge Facebook page. I had a reply pretty quick and we soon set up a meeting, at the meeting I explained to Justin that I wanted to quit cannabis and join the Army. Over a few sessions we looked at the positive and negatives of being a soldier, Justin also set up a Army Careers Officer to come in and have a chat with a few of us that had shown an interest. After all this I knew 100% this was the life I wanted so we got to work on a plan of how to achieve my dream. First, we set up a plan to quit my cannabis use and then a healthy lifestyle plan to look at the diet and training I would need to get through my interview and two day fitness assessment. Justin worked with me all the hours he could find and supported me for the seven months of intense work I would have to do to get where I wanted to be. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life but I’m proud to say I am now in my first year's training as a British Soldier and although some days are really tough the Bridge has taught me that if I put my mind to it and ask for the right support then my dreams can come true.
*Name and image have been changed to protect identity.