Police mentor programme gets funding to tackle young re-offenders
17 October 2018, 06:37 | Updated: 17 October 2018, 06:48
A scheme to prevent young people from becoming repeat offenders has been given lottery funding.
Police Scotland has been given money to help employ two adult mentors who have first-hand experience of beating the revolving door back to prison.
The force's initiative - which received £84,000 - is among 11 groups sharing £923,544 from the Big Lottery Fund.
Donald Tumilowicz is one of the mentors. He has a history of substance abuse, which has seen him spend decades in the criminal justice system.
The 45-year-old from West Lothian has been drug-free for five years and is now helping prevent young people from following a similar path.
He said: "This project from Police Scotland is so vitally important because there are so many young people out there needing help.
"As someone who spent most of his life caught up in the system using my addictions to boost my confidence and self-esteem I want to help stop other young people making the same mistakes as I did.
"Doing this work has changed my life."
Chief Inspector Gill Geany added: "The money will assist the funding of two peer mentors, who will engage with and empower vulnerable young people to break the cycle of re-offending and pick up their shattered lives and assist them to make positive decisions and changes.
"This will in turn strengthen communities, transform lives, reduce crime and the impact it has on victims."