My name is Josh and I am 25 Years old and from Leith. I grew up in The Fort and identified myself with the YLT (Young Leith Team) gang. I have been involved with crime for many years and would always be involved in whatever was going on. I have known Simon since I was about 15 as he also was a gang member. Simon had become involved with a social enterprise called Freedom Unlimited Enterprises who mentor & help young people to try and get them away from crime. They had helped Simon to start his own business, and so I started getting help from them too. After a few months I began to see that I had a talent for working with tools and constructing things. I began helping Simon in his new plastering business. At first just labouring, but soon I realised that I could actually plaster. I have been working with Simon for around 2 years and I am doing my apprenticeship now.
I am no longer involved in crime, have quit drugs and am also not on benefits for the first time in years. More important than that though, is that I actually feel good about my life and am positive about my future. My mates can all see the change in both myself and Simon and want to get involved now too. We are all working hard on a plan that will expand Freedom Unlimited to include all of these guys because I know that if I can make it – then so can they.