Growing up in London for me was tough.
It’s a place where there’s a lot of things happening and it’s hard for us as young people to find a different route in life. I’ve always been very ambitious, but no one ever really understood me or how ambitious I really was.
Growing up there was some good parts and some bad parts. Family life was pretty poor. I didn’t really grow up with my parents. I grew up with my auntie and it was hard for me to talk to her about certain situations. She wouldn’t really understand what was going on, how much it was affecting me or what I was going through.
There was a lot of different gangs coming into the area. They were selling drugs to young kids and telling them to go and make money. There were lots of people getting stabbed and sliced. The main issue in the area was that everyone was under a lot of peer pressure.
From a young age I got involved with a lot of wrong people and I associated myself with the wrong crowd.
I saw them as brothers from another mother. I thought they would support me and help me with anything I needed. Then things went sideways. I was staying out late and things just started building from there.
My main issues were gang affiliations and County Lines. A lot of people were saying to me ‘you can make a lot of money doing this’. I had no one, I was getting moved from place to place. I thought that this was the best way to make money.
My situation got very bad. I did a lot of wrong to a lot of people. Certain things I’m not proud of doing. My safety was out of control. I knew that I was going to have a lot of people after me, but I didn’t really care.
I knew I wanted to make a change in myself.
I almost lost my life three times. Someone stabbed me, someone tried to shoot me and I got beaten up. I know that once you die, you die. But I wasn’t ready to lose my life in that moment. I knew I wanted to make a change in myself.
At one point I was living on the streets and I found myself in a hostel. It was whilst I was living in the hostel that I was referred to Safer London. Through them I received support for my mental health and my gang affiliations.
It was different from the other services I worked with because I didn’t get judged. There was never anything that I did that was right or wrong.
What made it easier to get out of the lifestyle was having one person I knew who I could trust and rely on. There was a lot of consistency. I knew I always had someone to talk to when I needed them.
Working with their mental health worker was a hard experience for me. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know the type of angles they would take or how it would work.
At the time my mental health was pretty bad. I wouldn’t engage with workers that I was meant to be engaging with. I would put off meetings with my social worker because I wasn’t feeling myself. The support was useful and beneficial because now I can engage with a lot more people. I feel more comfortable in myself now.
Working with Safer London helped me come to terms with things. I thought I was right about a lot of things, but they made me see it from a different angle. The most helpful part was knowing what can occur that can make you re-offend. What behaviours that I or anyone else needs to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
I’m now involved in Safer London’s Young Leader work. It’s been interesting because I’ve been able to hear a lot of different people’s stories and what they’ve been through. I know we can all come together and make a difference.
My life right now is a bit hectic! I’m taking care of my daughter, trying to look after myself and find work, and trying to maintain a healthy household.
Without Safer London my life would most definitely have been different. I wouldn’t have learnt to have the self-control I need to make sure I don’t re-offend again. The encouragement I received gave me a lot of insight on what I could do to help myself. It helped me change my mindset and helped me really to become a better person.
It’s really made me feel like I’m myself now.
How we helped Trey
We provide one on one support to young Londonders impacted by violence in the community.
Working in partnership with organisations, we provide caseworker support from a trauma responsive approach, as well specialist services that are tailored to the needs of the young person.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
Young Londoners we work with have access to specialist mental health and wellbeing support if needed.
Our specialists work with Support Workers to assist them in their discussions with young Londoners around their mental health and wellbeing needs.
Get In Touch
If you know a young Londoner who could benefit from Safer London’s support, then get in touch today. We welcome enquiries from all areas of the community, whether directly from young Londoners, families, friends or community groups. As well as professionals in statutory or non-statutory services.