You don’t expect to be on a Community Order at 59, especially when you have never been in trouble with the law before. But that’s what happened to Gary Hill, a retired gas engineer.
A combination of family pressures and alcohol misuse came to a head at Christmas 2016 which resulted in Gary being sentenced to a Community Order for assault, along with a six month Restraining Order.
He was sentenced to 80 hours Community Payback and a period of supervision by the Cheshire & Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company (CGM CRC). Gary attended 12 sessions of an offending behaviour course for domestic violence offenders, each lasting two hours.
Gary was referred to Intuitive Thinking skills, and is now positive about his future and planning a new handyman business.
Gary said: “I’d had too much to drink and got involved in a domestic dispute. The police were called, I was charged with common assault and given a six months Restraining Order. This meant that I had to move out of the house which was a real shock to my system.”
But Gary has responded philosophically to his situation. “It’s surprising how many people want to help you. I went in with a positive attitude and enjoyed the Community Payback work with CGM CRC. I couldn’t see any downside.
“I took it as a positive. Although the situation was a kick in the pants, it made me realise that I needed to change. It was a real learning experience. There was a lot going on and I got something out of it.”
He was then referred to Intuitive Thinking Skills, a social enterprise company – thanks to Grant and Innovation Funding – where he has learned valuable life skills and how to set up his own business.
He joined course coordinator Chris Kelly’s Intuitive Recovery course which delivers a simple method of achieving meaningful abstinence from alcohol or drugs.
Gary said: “It helped me to understand my feelings better, how to do things differently and to increase my self-awareness. The way Chris gets it over is great. He really made the penny drop.”
Gary also participated in a Skills-Tu Employment course with Intuitive Thinking Skills which included building a tailored CV, business planning interview technique, getting a job, learning on the job and learning new skills.
“Chris has been really encouraging and has gone out of his way to find me helpful information. Although I had worked for a big energy company before, I’d never written a CV or made a business plan.
“I’ve now taken my learning further, researching at my local library into setting up my own business. I’ve always done jobs for the family and have all the tools to be a handyman. But this is about starting a proper business – though it’s early days.”
Gary now meets his CGM CRC Case Manager Nicola Brett once a month and is looking forward to later in the year when his Order will be complete.
“It’s all been good. I am a better man for it.”
Nicola said: “Gary has been highly motivated from the start and has engaged really well with everything that has been required of him. He completed the Unpaid Work very quickly and feedback about his offending behaviour course was very positive. It has been a pleasure to see the progress Gary has made and to hear him talk about how much he has got from this Order. I wish him every success with his new business venture.”
Nicola is pictured with Gary preparing for his new venture.
To download a copy of the case study click here.