Louis' story 

 I never used to want to go to school - I used to pretend to my mum that I was ill. She would shout “Come on, you need to go to school” but I really hated it. I always wondered why out of nearly 600 kids I seemed to be the only one that got bullied. Then one day I punched back. I felt instant relief. Nearly 7 years of bullying stopped from one violent action.

After that I’d lose my temper over the littlest things. Violence was an outcome of all that sadness and the older I got the more serious things got. I eventually ended up getting arrested on 2 accounts of robbery with a knife.

It was a big charge for someone my age. I was lucky to be sentenced to a year with a youth offending team, not prison.

My Team Worker told me about Leap. It was an opportunity.

There was one particular exercise that showed us that the anger we see above the surface has tons of hidden reasons beneath it. We learnt to accept that the thing that gets us angry is out of our control but we can choose how to we respond to it. It’s in our control.

It’s completely changed my relationship with conflict, with different relationships it’s helped in different ways.

Now if I have an argument with my mum I let her have her say, then I have mine - but I don’t raise my voice.

I’m taking steps to becoming a better person. Instead of reacting violently I compromise.