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New pilot gives Harlesden ex-prisoner the opportunity to turn his working life around

PUBLISHED: 09:26 31 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:26 31 December 2019

Fedell Jackson is turning his life around after a spell in prison. Picture: Brent Council

Fedell Jackson is turning his life around after a spell in prison. Picture: Brent Council

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An ex-offender has told of how prison time has enabled him to “reflect” on his past as he takes on a project to get back to work.

Fedell Jackson with members of Brent Council and the Forward Trust. Picture: Brent CouncilFedell Jackson with members of Brent Council and the Forward Trust. Picture: Brent Council

Fedell Jackson, who lives in Harlesden, has recently been released from prison after serving three months for drug offences.

The 39-year-old is taking part in a pilot programme run by Forward Trust, an organisation which helps ex-offenders who, given their criminal past are struggling to find work, adapt back into society.

"I got caught up in the wrong crowd you could say, smoking the wrong the stuff," said Fedell.

"I went through college to no avail, didn't really take anything in, and didn't achieve any merit or certificate or anything.

"Basically went into work from there, came out of work, spent the money as you do when you're in your teens. Parents split up, things got worse and [I was] still with the wrong crowd doing the same recreational high. I'd an idea to start off my own little business venture and... [the police] caught me with a bit of green."

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Time spent in prison gave him an opportunity to reflect and he said: "It gave me a lot of time on my hands to look at my life in perspective as of where I'm going and what I'm going do from there.

"You get older and you get wiser, and (my) circle of friends has changed."

With help from the Forward Trust, Fedell is working hard to find employment and is committed to getting his life back on track and seeing his plan come to fruition.

Gee Punia, head of employment and skills at the Forward Trust, said: "On a daily basis, our employment coach will help produce CVs, covering letters, but also do mock interviews for the individuals, but also talk about how to best sell themselves at an interview and disclose their past, as that's a really important part of the process."

Cllr Amer Agha, Brent Council's lead member for employment and skills, said: "Figures show that ex-offenders who don't find work are more likely to reoffend, and so helping ex-offenders like Fedell, who have come through the justice system, completely makes sense.

"In helping to reduce reoffending, we are also reducing crime, which is in all of our interests.

"That's why we are working with the Forward Trust to help ex-offenders back into work."


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