My name is Julian; I am 34 years old and from Edmonton, North London.
I was brought up by my mum. As a youngster, I had to look after my sister quite a lot because my mum had three jobs and would work long hours all week and weekends. My Dad didn’t play his role as a father in my life until later. I had a lot of responsibility caring for my sister who is six years younger than me. I wasn’t allowed out to play with the other children. My mum couldn’t afford to give me money for school dinners at times because things were hard for her as she owned her house and had no help from my Dad.
At the age of 17 I was coming home from college, I was with a few friends in a chicken shop. I was hungry and I knew there wasn’t much food at home and I had no money on me. I asked my friend E for a pound to get £1 chicken and chips. He said “I ain’t got that, you know P.” At this time he was counting a wad of money, probably about three hundred pounds. So, I turned to look at J and he was ordering his food and told me “this is all I got”. Then I turned to M and asked him for a pound. He said to me he didn’t have it either and he was also counting a large amount of money. “I need this to reload” he added (this means to buy more drugs). I stood there hungry. I began to realise that I could never find myself in this type of situation again. I made a pact with myself that I would never ask anyone for anything again.
From that day my life changed. I started selling drugs and went on to become one of the most successful drug dealers in my time. After many years of money and popularity forming a group of workers and controlling a section of the Edmonton area, it came to an end when I was arrested for supplying class A cocaine at the age of 25.
I was remanded at Pentonville prison where I was respected because of the person I was. My son was seven years old, old enough to understand where his dad was. Seeing his face so upset when he had to leave the visiting hall made me angry with myself. This made me realise I had to change and stop hurting the people around me. I came to realise my actions had a domino effect on everyone around me.
After a year's release from Prison, I joined Chaos Theory after meeting Pam. Hearing her story and how she had a model to resolve these issues I realised this was what I wanted to do. I wanted to help young people like myself who had fallen in a trap and could not see any way out. I was using the skills I learnt on the streets to turn them into positives and help others find a new way of thinking and handling certain situations in their lives.
I worked voluntary for the first year and a half until things started to pick up. I started studying to become a qualified Youth Worker- which I am now, completing an NVQ Level 2 in Youth and Community work. This organisation has a big impact on my life, helping me through my transition of being a Drug pusher to a positive role model. It did take time for this transition to happen, and this is the same amount of effort and time I want to put into anyone that walks through our doors.