Talk to Paul

Tuesday 12th March 2013

Recently the Trust invited ex-offender Paul Hannaford to deliver a workshop around consequences & choice following direct involvement with drug and alcohol addiction as well as gun and knife crime.

The workshop, which lasted for 45 minutes, gave an insight into addiction and prison life, which was drawn from Paul’s real life experiences.

Paul Hannaford said, ‘I turned from a bright, intelligent school child, who excelled at football to a drug taking burglar who had to rob to feed his habit. This progressed into violence as I worked my way up the hierarchy of the local gangs.

‘I was kidnapped and beaten to an inch of my life following a botched robbery and even resorted to stealing from my own family. There are always consequences to the choices we make in life.’

Matt Horne Greenwich Youth Partnership Manager, said, ‘This was powerful stuff. During the workshop you could of heard a pin drop, the young people were captivated by the stories Paul told. The feedback has been fantastic and this will give our staff a great opportunity to carry out some solid youth work over the next few weeks.’

Ridwan Deria, who attended the workshop, said, ‘How Paul has turned his life around is inspirational and having heard his stories I would never go that way myself.’

Fellow attendee, Gulled Abdi, added, ‘Paul really seemed to want to advise and take care of us. I really did not know there were different types of needles and the many dangers regarding injecting yourself. The workshop got to me 100%.’

Fikile Guduza further commented, ‘The workshop really spread the word regarding the various dangers and that his world was a totally different world and one you really don't want to get involved with.’