From a life in crime, to helping vulnerable young people

Posted by / Wednesday 12 October 2016 / Press release

We are delighted that Action for Children has been nominated for the “Young People’s Project Award” in The Herald Society Awards.

The programme in Scotland helps young people trapped working in organised crime, to find work in other areas.

Aidan*, has been through this program himself and has seen what an incredible impact it has had on his life. He went to prison at the age of 18 for assault with a knife, and other serious offences. Hear from Aidan how after prison, the programme helped turn his life around:


“My mum and dad had drug problems and I lived with my gran when I was young. She died when I was 13 and I went into care. I went off the rails.”

“I started smashing houses for an older guy on the estate. He was a dealer. I would smash windows, knock down doors, throw paint in houses, and attack the people living there. It was all related to drugs – people who hadn’t paid, and people who had grassed.”

“I did it for the money, but also for the power. Other people feared me. At first it felt good, we were untouchable. People were scared to go out of their houses and be in their gardens if I was around. But then I started to think about the affect I was having on other families and I felt rotten.”

“After I came out of prison I started attending Action for Children service in Scotland. I wanted to make some changes in my life.”

"Action for Children helped me to find a job in the construction industry and offered support with benefits and housing."

“Now I work with Action for Children Scotland, supporting other young people who have become involved in serious organised crime. I am pleased to be doing something worthwhile.”

“Serious organised crime not an easy lifestyle to escape – five years later people still ask me for drugs. There was some pressure from my friends, they doubted my loyalty and said I’d changed. Older guys were worried about what I knew; they thought I was a loose wire.”

“But I want to show other young people that it is possible to make that change, and that the lifestyle that seems so glamorous and profitable really isn’t.”


* Name changed to protect identity