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Paul Williams from Maidstone named Adult Achiever of the Year by charity Tomorrow’s People

An ex-offender who turned his life around thanks to the help of an employment charity has been named Adult Achiever of the Year.

Paul Williams, 64 from Maidstone, was given the national award by HRH the Countess of Wessex on behalf of Tomorrow’s People, an organisation which helps disadvantaged adults get into work.

He turned to them after hitting rock bottom, having been sentenced to seven years in prison. He had spent three quarters of his life living outside the law, having been involved in criminal activity from the age of ten.

Paul Williams (centre) was given the award by HRH the Countess of Wessex
Paul Williams (centre) was given the award by HRH the Countess of Wessex

But since working with Tomorrow’s People he has set up an community allotment by Christ Church in Wallis Avenue, started volunteering as a church caretaker and is a driver for Age UK. Paul is now determined to make an honest living and is hoping to start his own scrap and waste management company.

Mr Williams said: “Tomorrow’s People were the only people I met who took the time to work with people like me who have complex needs , and not treat us like a number.

"Just to be sitting here is an achievement! It’s going to take a while to sink in, coming from where I have come from.

"I’m so close to achieving something that I never thought possible. I do not need to fight and turn to violence in order to be heard.”

Operations Manager for Tomorrow’s People in Marsham Street, Maidstone, Alec Mohun Smith, said: “Paul has proven that no matter what your age, where you come from, how isolated you may feel in the world, anyone has the ability to change their circumstances and choose the right path.

"Paul has gone from a life of taking to a life of giving, and now he is about to complete his journey by starting his own company. I am so proud of Paul and all he has accomplished. He deserves to find happiness in his life.”

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