I came out of prison after finishing a long sentence, I was in for ten years with three suspended. My Probation Officer in Mountjoy Prison talked to me about the Bridge Project and got me onto the course. He explained it all to me and I understood that it was going to be tough, there’s strict supervision and a lot of work involved.
I jumped at the chance because I wanted to better myself and I came straight onto Bridge from Mountjoy. It started off grand, I felt it was helping me with my learning disabilities, I’m dyslexic and the teachers and tutors here are all familiar with me so they were a big help and showed me how I could learn even with my disability.
I have lots of courses in my folder now. HACCP, Safe Pass, First Aid, Communications, Fire and Safety, Bike Maintenance and Work Experience. I was doing Maths but the tutor left so that class will start back again after the break and I’m really looking forward to it because it was my favourite subject in school and it’s the last subject for me to have all my awards. I cycle to Bridge every day, rain or shine and I never miss a class. It’s tough but I know every day here is helping me get back to a normal life. I’ve done peer-to-peer learning with other fellas who need a bit of a dig out.
Thanks to Bridge I have a list of betterments in my life, I haven’t picked up any charges, I’m settled, I’m working and I’m clean.
Sometimes it can be tough coming from a hard life and prison into a place like this and it helps to meet someone you can relate to. I was happy to help out the tutors, I enjoyed it because they were showing confidence in me and that gave me a boost. Bridge monitors my urine and I’ve been clean since coming here. All my crimes were drug related, when I’m off drugs I’d never do a crime, the drugs took over for me, I’m a different person when I’m using. Coming here to the project has given me so many opportunities.
I’ve been accepted onto a work placement with Rothar after completing the bike maintenance course, that course was the best thing that ever happened to me because I’m really good at fixing bikes and the tutor recognised that and here I am heading to a work placement that will help me maybe open my own bike business someday.
That course was the best thing that ever happened to me because I’m really good at fixing bikes and the tutor recognised that.
I’ve just come from an interview with Dublin City Council for a position where I’d be helping kids and young people. It’s a paid position although I would have done it voluntarily. I love the bike work and all but I wanted to also do something to give something back after everyone’s been so helpful here. I have two children but I don’t see one of them. I’ll be in court soon looking for access.
Thanks to Bridge I have a list of betterments in my life, I haven’t picked up any charges, I’m settled, I’m working and I’m clean. I changed my whole life around and the Bridge Project has helped me with that.