3Pillars Project enables young people to create brighter futures. Our vision is to establish a word-class sports-based mentoring programme within England for men aged 16-29, vulnerable to engaging in crime, in custody, and recently released from prison, to desist from crime.
Our programme ‘GAMEPLAN’ empowers the participants through trust-based relationships providing stability and long-term engagement within the 3Pillars community that enables reintegration into the community and prevents a return to custody.
We believe that nurturing young men with lived experience of the criminal justice system can create positive change within local communities and have a positive impact on other disenfranchised young people.
Larry’s story (3Pillars leadership academy participant)
As a teenager Larry found himself on the wrong side of the law, and dealt with the consequences by being sent to prison at the age of 18. Throughout Larry’s 13 years in prison he learnt some invaluable life lessons, met some exemplary people, and re-built his life.
“I was surrounded by violence growing up in London, it was on my doorstep. But I also enjoyed my youth, and I was involved in playing sport and played football and rugby until crime took over and I was taken to prison on a IPP (Imprisonment for public protection).
I ended up going to 15 different prisons, and eventually settled in the Isle of Wight where I would often ask the question ‘why me’. Your rights as a human are stripped away from you when you’re in prison and I decided that I needed to take control.”
Larry soon began focusing on himself and getting out of prison to be with his son who he admits to missing most of his life due to being inside. He began reading more books and helping other prisoners that could not read or write.
“I give massive credit to the courses that I undertook in prison, in particular restorative justice courses that helped me see crime from a different perspective to what I had known or experienced.”
3Pillars Project played a huge part in Larry’s experience, having joined the programme 2006 whilst in HMP Wormwood Scrubs. Not only did it bring him back to a sport that he loved as a child, but Larry says 3Pillars Project taught him about “calmness, self-esteem, and confidence.”
However, the biggest impact for Larry was his interaction with one of the 3PP team, Mike, whom he credits for “speaking to me like a human being because I am a human being”
Larry was released in 2019 and admitted there were difficulties reintegrating back into a society that had changed so much throughout his 13 years in prison.
“Technology has changed, and it was a completely different environment to what I was used to. But with help from my family, friends and 3Pillars Project and St Giles Trust I have been able to re-build my life”.
Since leaving prison, Larry has started working for St Giles Trust as a Custody Suite Case Worker and works with young people to give them the guidance he admits he didn’t have when he was young. “I now use my personal experience.”