Meet the team: Tom Can you tell us about your Aspire journey? I started my career training at Ruskin College on their youth and community degree, which lead me on to working with vulnerably housed young people and then went onto work at Connections, getting ex-offenders into Aspire. I loved Aspire and what they did so when I saw a job advertised I knew I had to apply. What projects are you currently working on and what are they hoping to achieve? So currently I am working on the Through the Prison Gate project with Christine Rolls, I’m quite new to this project. We are broadening the horizons and branching out into Milton Keynes and High Wycombe and focusing more on getting released ex-offenders back into employment. This has meant we’re working with a more diverse range of people from a different catchment area than normal. I’m also working on developing new opportunities for ex-offenders service users including running The Family Links Parenting Course. Can you share an Aspire memory that always brings a smile to your face? There’s quite a few! The first person I got into employment was a client who I had placed in a cycle shop down the Cowley Road for some work experience and then they took him on as a full time employee. The great feeling you get when you’ve changed someone’s life is great. Movies or Music? Name a guilty pleasure! I love Movies by the Coen Brothers, like Fargo and No Country for Old Men. A guilty pleasure I have doesn’t relate to the above but I have just joined a local gym so that means I get out of bed time with the kids once a week and go for a work out. Describe Aspire in three words… Diverse, Supportive, Friendly. Over the course of human history, who inspires you the most? I can’t just name one so I’ll have to say a couple, Che Cuevara, Carl Marx are just two I could name. What do you do when you’re not at work? When I’m not at work I’m mainly being a parent or meeting up with childhood friends. Because I grew up in Oxford a lot of my friends are still around. I’d like to do more snowboarding, but with children now in the equation I’ve had to hang up my boots for a while.