My name is Arleigh CorbIn, Founder of T.H.U.G.S London a Community Interest Company
My story began when I was incarcerated at the age of 15. I was given a 6 month sentence to a detention centre after being picked on by a 6ft heavily built male. I was on my way home from school on the 266 bus and was forced to defend myself with my bare hands no weapons. This sentencing irrevocably changed the course of my life. As a first time offender with no previous criminal history, my prison experience altered my world view. I had no regard for authority or for my own life. Gang life and street activity became the norm and at the time some would say prison was my second home.
I wouldn’t say I was brought up in a broken home as my Dad had a good job and my Mum had two, looking after six siblings and working for British Telecom. Unfortunately it was the choices I made and the people I associated with that lead me further away from my original life path.
I’m sharing this part of my life with you because I was once deemed as, or referred to in the category of ‘them T.H.U.G.S’ Yes I once was and now proud to say still deemed as ‘them T.H.U.G.S’ Why? By taking this negative word and using it as an Acronym I’ve transformed it into a positive term. We all are at some point in our lives Talented Humans Under Great Stress AKA T.H.U.G.S
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My name is Hannah Harding and I have two young children, Amelia aged 4 and Jacob aged 2. I came from a single-parent household and watched my mother make continuous sacrifices to not only make ends meet but give us a happy childhood whilst also trying to find her career.
I faced the same struggles in a similar situation with my children, I found it very hard to discover and unlock my true purpose I often found myself “job hopping” through various roles ranging from customer service to working with children in a nursery setting, however I was still unsatisfied. There was certainly times where I was truly alone
I knew the traditional route of furthering my education beyond GCSE’S was not for me. I had a burning desire to start something meaningful to me and knew that my previous life experiences was not in vain and had helped pave the way for this next chapter. I faced many challenges along the way whilst maintaining my responsibilities of raising two very young children single handily; unfortunately I didn’t have the opportunity of reaching out to a non-profit organization to help me on my journey of self-discovery and help me through the very things that was impeding my growth, which is why I was keen to create an organization to offer young people the help and support they so desperately need. I faced various issues whilst I was in search for myself such as; peer pressure, financial difficulty, mental pressure of being successful, the negative influence of social media and the constant strain of self-discovery.
I was determined to turn my situation around and turn a negative experience into a positive one. So i created T.H.U.G.S London C.I.C to offer young people support and guidance and coach them through any barriers or obstacles they may face. This organization means a lot to me as I defiantly know just how it feels to be a “talented human under great stress”.