Ex-teacher turns his life around to help young people

7 Jan 2022 03:30
Published by: Scott Callan

AN amateur cricketer who lost his job as a teacher after drink driving has spoken about how he turned his life around after working to help vulnerable youngsters.

Jamie Pilling was banned from the roads on New Year's Day in 2016 for driving while under the influence.

He has since suffered with bulimia but has taken advantage of the time lockdowns have provided to alter the course of his future.

Jamie, from Tottington, has now launched JEP Youth Engagement, which works to give young people guidance in difficult times. He said: "It was always my intention to start my own youth support service having experienced what I have during my life."

Jamie has been commissioned to work with 18 - 21-year-olds in prisons while also landing contracts in schools across Greater Manchester

The 30-year-old also runs mental health workshops, outreach activities and one-to-one behaviour and anger management sessions.

He says he builds trust with youngsters by being open about his battles with bulimia, mental health as well as the drink driving offence which left him at rock bottom.

He said: "I didn't change things when I could have done and that meant I went to pretty much the lowest point before I sought help."

Jamie, who was also charged by police with three common assaults while studying, now uses his knowledge to prevent youngsters from suffering the way he did.

He said: "It's no secret to people who know me that I've had my troubles. On New Year's Day in 2016 I decided to drive home while under the influence of alcohol and I hit a parked car.

"I was lucky to just get a ban and that no one was hurt. Since then, I've worked very hard with my therapist to turn things around and have become a more stable individual as a result."

Jamie is now back representing Ramsbottom Cricket Club for a second spell having spent much of his cricket career at hometown club Walshaw.

He said: "Things are going really well at JEP Youth Engagement and it's a privilege to work with so many great young people. My work if fundamentally about establishing relationships of trust with young people who feel they can relate to me.

"By treating every young person with the respect, they deserve as an individual, rather than just another 'troubled individual' to be managed through the system, we help them to develop the skills, positive attitude and resilience they need to make a positive contribution to their lives, families and communities."

You may be interested in