Marvin engaged with the 2nd Chance Project in 2013 during a troublesome time at HMP Oakwood, a Category C adult prison in the West Midlands. Marvin felt alienated because of his ethnicity, and reacted in a way that meant he was labelled as a ‘bad prisoner’ and a ‘security risk’. This inhibited his progression towards open conditions and access to courses.

It was then that Marvin met Ty, a 2nd Chance Sports Peer Mentor, who told him about the 2nd Chance Project and the upcoming rugby academy. He also introduced Marvin to Justin from 2nd Chance, who encouraged and supported Marvin’s application. At the academy, Marvin could release frustration, gain skills and qualifications, keep fit and play rugby against different teams (including the staff).

“The rugby course was great,” says Marvin. “I got to know a different mix of people. There were 12 ex-soldiers in my team and being black and Muslim, it meant we had never really mixed before. We got along well and worked really well as a team to train for a match against the governors. Sadly I was transferred to another prison on Christmas Eve, the day before the match.”

Marvin fully engaged in the programme and developed his skills as a Sports Mentor. The support from 2nd Chance continued post-transfer, which helped Marvin to maintain family relationships and secure employment in both HMP Brixton and HMP Standford Hill as a mentor working with young people.

In October 2015, Marvin was released on temporary licence where he was a guest speaker for 2nd Chance and supported the launch of the National Alliance of Sport for the Desistance of Crime. This was Marvin’s first day out in five years, and it helped him immensely in visualising a positive future on release from custody. From there, Marvin started volunteering with Saracens Rugby. Since leaving prison, Marvin has been working as a mentor, engaging young people identified as ‘at risk’ through a programme he's running himself in a South London school. Marvin is also discussing working alongside partners of the National Alliance of Sport for the Desistance of Crime.

Read about more success stories here