Jamie Pilling was banned from the roads in early 2016 and also suffered from bulimia – but now has his own business JEP Youth Engagement
An amateur cricketer who lost his teaching job due to a drinking and driving offense turned his life around after starting JEP Youth Engagement.
Jamie Pilling was banned from driving on New Years Day 2016 for drunk driving.
He has since suffered from bulimia but took advantage of the time that the confinements gave him to change the course of his future.
“I always intended to start my own youth support service after going through what I’ve been through in my lifetime,” said Jamie, who lives in Tottington, Bury. “And it’s great to have now launched JEP Youth Engagement. “
Jamie, former Youth Violence Prevention Coordinator for the Salford Foundation under the STEER program and residential child care worker for the Salford Council, has been tasked with working with 18-21 year olds in prisons while securing contracts in schools in Greater Manchester.
The 30-year-old also runs mental health workshops, awareness activities and one-on-one behavior and anger management sessions.
He builds trust with young people by being open about his battles with bulimia, mental health as well as the drinking and driving offense that left him low.
“I didn’t change things when I could and that meant I got to about the lowest point before asking for help,” Jamie said.
“It was food poisoning that caused bulimia. At the time, I was self-conscious, gained weight, and was social media too much. After I lost weight, due to food poisoning, I kept making myself sick and one thing led to another – it was a horrible experience.
Jamie, who was charged by police with three common assaults while studying, is now using his knowledge to keep young people from suffering the way he did.
“It’s no secret to people who know me that I have had my problems,” he said. “On New Years Day 2016, I decided to go home under the influence of alcohol and hit a parked car. I was lucky to get a ban and no one was hurt. Since then, I have worked very hard with my therapist to make a difference and have thus become a more stable individual.
Jamie is now back to represent Ramsbottom Cricket Club for a second spell after spending much of his cricket career at his hometown club Walshaw.
The key to keeping things from escalating is sharing feelings with others, according to Jamie.
“Things are going really well at JEP Youth Engagement and it is a privilege to work with so many great young people.
“I find that when I share my experience of bulimia, a lot of young people have had similar problems but don’t necessarily know what it is. Suddenly, I am very open with them and I try to reassure them as much as possible to share their feelings and their problems with others.
In schools and prisons, Jamie conducts one-on-one sessions on growth mindsets, the importance of resilience as well as self-esteem and confidence-building when it comes to dealing with anxiety. .
“We also run mental health workshops in area schools on a one-to-one basis, aimed at distracting youth from drug use and crime,” Jamie said.
“My job is fundamentally to build trusting relationships with young people who feel they can relate to me.
“By treating each young person with the respect they deserve as an individual, rather than just a ‘struggling individual’ to manage in the system, we help them develop the skills, positive attitude and resilience that they need to make a positive contribution to their lives, their families and their community.
“We help them meet their challenges in a safe environment, which allows them to be fully equipped with everything they need to realize their full potential in the future. “
For more information on EHD Youth Engagement, visit the website