Crime reduction
Violence reduction

Karl's story


"In late November 2021, I found myself sitting in a holding cell at Shepcote Lane Police Station in Sheffield.

I was heavily under the influence of alcohol and had been arrested for common assault. I had never been arrested before, and I was struggling to understand how I came to find myself there.

Whilst in custody I was visited by Mark from Causeway’s Plan B programme, and agreed to meet with him on a weekly basis.

I was in a highly vulnerable state, and I legitimately wanted to end my life for several months. I drank more than ever, and made plans to hang myself. Mark helped me navigate this very self-destructive time by making himself available for a coffee and chat, or just a phone call if I needed support. 

In one of our first conversations, I remember Mark telling me to try to use the experience as an opportunity for growth. Seeing this situation in a positive light sounded absurd to me at the time.  I was very bitter, but Mark consistently offered me constructive advice and opinions, and helped me to analyse my own worldview and values. 

It was nice to have someone that wasn’t directly involved in the circumstance who would hear me out, and who inspired me to make changes in myself.  It’s incredibly difficult to describe how hard done by I felt for the longest time. 

I would liken the criminal proceedings against me as prolonged emotional torture, but now some 18 months later, I’ve found I am far wiser for having experienced it as it forced me to pull myself together and redefine myself.

Feeling sorry for yourself is a very easy thing to do, and I had to deal with a lot of bitterness which had no place to go in my brain but manifest into self-abuse.

Having someone on my side who would listen to me, and who didn’t sit in judgement, whilst still holding me accountable, was a big benefit to my mental health and wellbeing during a very turbulent and self-destructive crisis.

I began journaling and exercising regularly. Mark encouraged me to invest time into playing my guitar and song writing. He encouraged me to find a job, and quit drinking. I accepted help where I needed it.

I’ve come to understand that I needed this experience in my life to teach me how to be a better man.

I would say I am now a far more balanced person, and carry a deeper, more positive perspective for having had someone help me during this period of my life.

I now feel more in control of my life and my decisions than I ever did before thanks to the help from Plan B.

To Plan B, and now to the whole experience, I can say that I am eternally grateful."