It costs £140,000 a year to keep one offender in prison. It costs Chaos Theory £4,000 to keep them out. Makes you think doesn’t it? Chaos Theory is a brilliant example of the sort of charities supported by the William Wates Memorial Trust – grass roots, direct impact, measurable results.
At our first charity visit for 2017, a small group of riders and TDF Tracy met Pam, Julian and Sarah from Chaos Theory, as well as Josh, who is one of their clients. Each took their turn to tell their story. Pam explained the catastrophic series of events that led to her moving from being a support worker with youth offenders, to setting up Chaos Theory. Julian shared his own history of poverty and hunger, drug dealing, a horrific knife attack that left him fighting for his life and eventually a spell in prison. He’s used his obvious intelligence and determination to turn his life around and help others avoid the mistakes he made. Joshua quietly told his own story, not unlike Julian’s. Lacking good role models, he dealt in drugs and got embroiled in an incident in which he got shot and arrested. Picked up by Chaos Theory on release, they kept him off the streets, found a roof, warmth and food for him and slowly helped him to get his life back on track. He’s now working as a gas engineer and is determined to give back to his community.
And it’s the word ‘community’ that kept coming up as we listened, captivated, to their stories. It is the community who are making the difference in these young lives, through leaders like Pam and Julian who care passionately about their friends and neighbours. Chaos Theory are working right in the heart of their community with kids they have known since they were little – who have grown up to become involved in crime and extreme violence. They are there to help those people get life back on track and Julian and Josh are an incredible testament to their work.
One of our cyclists on the visit had this to say:
“When we work in Business and Financial Markets, we often think we have a well-rounded “world view” of people and places, but it’s through meeting the teams at WWMT and Chaos Theory that you get a true sense of the real world, the challenges faced by people every day in trying to lead happy and successful lives. You also get a deep sense that we are all one community and that we should try to operate more with that in mind. We all share similar goals, aspirations and abilities and through events such as the Tour de Force we can not only raise awareness and funds to continue their support work, but we can also break down barriers between the different groups in society. Sport encourages respect for yourself and for others, it allows you to recognise your own limits and to go beyond them through the commitment of training, it is an encounter with others, a way of relating to them that goes beyond differences or discrimination. Vive le Tour!” – Jackson Griffith
We are absolutely delighted that Josh will be joining us on tour in the Pyrenees to ride as one of our 2 charity visitors this year, accompanied by Julian, so many of you will get the chance to meet them. They will tell their own stories to the riders in the evening during their visit. They’re really excited by this opportunity and are looking forward to meeting more of our cyclists (while being wide-eyed at the cycling challenge they face!).
If you want to learn more, first hand, about some of the charities supported by WWMT that you are fundraising to support, please please come to one of our 2 remaining charity visits. And if you can’t make it to either of those, get in touch and we can organise something just for you.