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Founded in 1998, CRJI aspires to build a tolerant, responsive and inclusive community by providing restorative justice services to local areas. 

Caring for people is key to restorative practice, empathy goes a long way, From Sara

Updated: Sep 9, 2020

“For me a Frappuccino, please”.

Thus, began my work session with Matthew (not his real name) *, aged 17 years. We usually meet in the “quiet room” of the CRJI office however from time to time, we indulge in a coffee together (if or when the client feels like it, and when we do this, he picks the venue.)

The coffee shop is cosy, quiet and private, there are only a few customers due to social distancing regulations. This provides us with the opportunity to talk openly, in a safe and reserved environment and the conversations flows. Matthew tells me about his anxiety, which he has experienced for years. He has sought comfort in tablets, he says they help him to sleep, but his days are empty and, when asked "what was the highlight of your week?" Matthew struggles to find anything positive to tell me.

Feeling worthlessness is a common denominator among some of my clients. Other typical problems that we try to address through our work in the Aspire project are addiction, mental health issues, and the risk of marginalisation and isolation. We offer practical and emotional support to encourage and help clients to re-enter education, training or employment, access housing, regain control of their finances or to help improve their relationship with their family or the local community.

The Aspire Project provides a short-term intervention of 16 weeks to support young men between the ages of 16 and 30 years through the various challenges they may be facing. But, above all, it guarantees a safe space where a non-judgmental ear listens to them, with kindness, openness, and care. 

And the Frappuccino plays its part too!

*not real name of the client (for confidentiality reasons)


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