Connor came from a chaotic background where his family members were involved in crime. When he left school at 16, he struggled to settle into college, dropping out twice. His lack of qualifications or family support made it really difficult for him to stay in work.
The job centre referred Connor to Spear in Hammersmith in 2015. On Spear, Connor learnt how to present himself in a professional way and to communicate without using slang. But most importantly, he learnt how to manage his emotions and to think bigger about the future. He realised that he loved being outdoors and was interested in plants and gardening.
Connor made such good progress on Spear that he was spared a custodial sentence. Just a few weeks before, Connor’s future had looked like time in jail and an ongoing spiral of drug offences. Instead, Connor got a role as a landscape gardening apprentice. Now he’s enjoying training for a Level 2 qualification in horticulture, and working part-time in Argos to supplement his income.
He no longer sees petty crime as an option – he now has the confidence and skills to succeed in the workplace, a real enthusiasm for his work, and an eye on a bigger future in horticulture.