A teenager from Sutton speaks on how a youth scheme has helped him look towards a "brighter future" instead of a troubling path. 

George has been going from "strength to strength" after receiving support from Sutton Council’s Early Help and Integrated Youth Justice Team.

The 16-year-old has previously been in trouble with the police and was placed on a Youth Rehabilitation Order (YRO) in March 2021. 

Sutton's youth justice service aims to reduce reoffending and anti-social behaviour, as well as working with families to establish a support network.

Tobi Ladejobi, a Youth Justice Social Worker, has been working with George since last October and has helped him through the service which provides tailored support.

Since working in partnership with education and employment staff, George has been able to secure an interview at a college.

Your Local Guardian:

Speaking about his experience with the service, George said: "I enjoy working with Tobi because he listens and helps me when I am angry or upset.

"I am now working with my Education and Employment Worker, and I’m looking forward to a brighter future.

I have worked very hard to get to where I am now and happy that relationships with members of my family are improving.

"I am looking forward to what the future holds and starting my college course."

The Youth Justice Service believes that every child has individual needs that need to be recognised to help them transition successfully into adulthood.

It supports young people and encourages them to realise and achieve their full potential by helping them to make positive steps towards education and employment.

Your Local Guardian:

Tobi Ladejobi, Youth Justice Worker said: "The Youth Rehabilitation Order gave George the opportunity to work with us to make amends for his past actions and make some positive changes to his life and work towards some constructive goals.

"While there are still some difficult circumstances and relationships in his life, George and I have worked closely together and had some honest conversations about how he would like to be a positive role model for his sister and make better life choices for himself.

"He has been proactive in addressing his own mental health and while he was reluctant to talk to me at first, he is going from strength to strength in dealing with his emotions and stressful life experiences with some tailored support."