“I come from a background where you never thought about doing something like this, I did bad things because of the area I was brought up in, and it was all we knew.
“The idea of putting this uniform on and going to work five days a week, it never existed back in the day, so to see that I can do it from where I’ve come from, it just shows you that it is possible. If I can do it, where I come from, it just shows you that anybody else can do it, because I’ve shown it. Anybody that has come from a bad background or has had hard times in the beginning can do it too.
“My mates look at me now and they’ve realised that they can do stuff and they’ve gone uni, or got into jobs, because they’ve realised that I’m doing something legit, so they can too.
“I couldn’t have done it without James or Adam though, or any of the support I’ve had through it all. I get up in the morning, I go to work, but without the support it wouldn’t be doable. I have severe dyslexia, it’s already a barrier to even just get somewhere in life with it, but then just being offered a chance to prove yourself, that’s all most young people want but it’s quite hard to just get that.
“Before this, all I knew was what I was brought up in, so it’s a completely different way of life now; the way I think, the way I carry myself, waking up in the morning and thinking positive, cos before there was nothing really positive, it was just getting by every day, however you could get by.
“In the past I did things you don’t want to remember, but being offered a chance to do something you can be proud of, I can go home and tell my mum I do something what she can be proud of, it’s bigger than just being paid a wage, it makes you the person you are.”
Warise is 19 and from Radford. He’s an apprentice plasterer for JCS.