Hi, I’m Hannah and I’m 16.

To be honest my future wasn’t looking that great when I arrived at The Door.

I’d managed to get expelled from school – I enjoyed shouting at people and hurling insults more than having an actual conversation. Most of the people I spent time with were older than me and let’s just say the local police knew my name.

One day in the park The Door’s youthworkers were doing something called ‘detached youthwork’. They walk around the town and check to see that young people are doing OK.

They stopped to chat and see how I was. This was a really nice thing to do but my response was to shout at them to go away and leave us alone. I didn’t need them in my space.

So they left, but then they came back again the next week, and the week after that, always stopping and saying hello.

They told us about youth club and I figured I’d check it out. Afterall I had nothing to lose. It’s not like my life was going anywhere and they seemed to think they could help me.

I still wasn’t sure about the team at first. I’d shout in the youth centre and be really annoying. I’m used to being in charge of how things go, so I think I was trying to work out where I fit in. One day I was particularly irritating –
I got everyone else really hyped up and they had to close the session early.

At the time it felt like a win but after a while I felt bad about ruining the fun for the others.

The Door team were so patient with me, they sat me down and we talked about what had happened. Apparently it’s called ‘restorative practice.’ Then we decided on how I was going to change my behaviour going forwards. No one had listened to me or asked my opinion in so long. It took me by surprise to be forgiven and trusted to try again rather than being told to go away.

So I started being calmer in sessions and trusting the team a bit more. They helped me get back into college and get a part-time job. Their belief in me has really helped me believe in myself.

I don’t know what I would have done without The Door – they really are my family.

And now when I see the police I can smile and say hello instead of running away!


Hannah’s Story

2 thoughts on “Hannah’s Story

  • November 6, 2023 at 4:53 pm

    Everyone deserves to be listened to and understood. Everybody has a reason for their behaviour and it is never too late to change and find a better way to live our lives.

  • November 10, 2023 at 11:42 am

    So brave of Hannah to go public with this story, it took my breath away. Hoping it can help others who are going through troubled times.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *