Drawn into crime, excluded from school and a challenging childhood. Statistically, Danny was on course for a life lacking hope. Things have panned out dramatically differently and years after he’s thankful for the life-changing impact TLG had on his life.
“Growing up wasn’t easy. I was raised in a difficult area and in a home defined by domestic abuse. My father used to knock me and my siblings around. My mum worked hard to protect us and love us, but she was often working and my dad would be the one mostly at home. He took out his stress on us and we didn’t know what to do.
We reached a point where my mum had to move us away to a new city. I knew she had to but I didn’t like it. I felt isolated and like I didn’t fit in. I guess I wanted to impress people and that’s how I got in with the wrong crowd.
I would do things to try and make people laugh and I don’t mean positive things.
The things that had been going on at home fuelled my temper and my attitude. I did what I wanted. I was defensive, argumentative and I’d fight with a lot of people. My future was held hostage by the need to be wanted and liked by people around me.
My pain was rooted so deep that I found myself involved in crime – violence, stealing and selling drugs.
Sometimes I would even get locked up and put away in the cells for stuff I'd done. It was unhealthy and it hurt my family. My mum and my sister were looking at me and thinking, ‘what’s going on with you Danny?’
And school? It was chaos. My behaviour had become so challenging that I was excluded and found myself at a TLG Education Centre.
When I first came to TLG, I didn’t want to be helped. I wanted to deal with things myself and when people supported me I felt weak. I didn’t want people to try to know what was going on in my life.
But the staff at TLG really tried to understand what I’d been through. TLG is like a family. There is a genuine care with TLG. They really, honestly wanted to help. I gradually began to trust them and became open to the help I was receiving. They really were persistent and they helped take me to where I needed to be in life. Being at TLG helped me to think that there was something more to life than trying to impress people, that I could be positive, that I could put things right. I thought, ‘look I’m gonna make a change here.’
I realised it was down to me – no one else.
I knew that I wanted to achieve something with my life from that point. It was difficult, yeah, but I worked hard to return to mainstream school and achieve my GCSEs. I’d always been interested in business and so took a course at college. I knew I wanted to take things further. So I applied and went to university on a two year fast-track business degree. It was different there because I was surrounded by people who wanted to do well. It’s helped me on my current career path too. I work for a property investment company. I love being able to find people a house. I feel like I’m giving something back!
I’ve always known Christians in my life and TLG was no exception. The staff I was surrounded by at TLG were different from anywhere I’d been to school before. They were helping kids like me, not for their own gain, but for God.
It was in 2015 that I got baptised. I decided that I wanted to take a step into God’s world. What I’d seen through the staff at TLG and other Christians I’d met along the way was really making sense to me. I realised that God has a purpose in my life. Getting baptised, it was as if the burden had just been thrown away. I literally felt free because in Christ chains are broken.
I just can’t wait for the future to see what God has in store for my life. Whenever something great happens in my life I’m able to look to one person and that’s God.”