A Dundee man is using the skills he learned in prison to help ensure others can avoid going down a similar wrong path.
Jamie Canter was released from his 18-month jail sentence in March, after he was convicted of being concerned in the supply of cocaine and MDMA.
Now, after managing to secure a job and a flat, he has turned his attention to giving something back and offering a helping hand to the vulnerable.
After learning barbering skills during his time inside, the 22-year-old is now wanting to help homeless people by offering haircuts and some sweet treats.
Speaking to the Tele, he said: “I have been homeless before, so I know what it is like to have no money and what it is like to not have anything.
“I was homeless for about eight months when I was 16 years old, and it was a long and bad time, but I just had to get on with it.
“During the coronavirus outbreak a lot of people are getting support, but I sometimes feel no one is looking out for homeless people.
“There are still a lot of homeless people out there and in my eyes they are getting swept under the carpet.”
Jamie is keen to dispel the myth that people who spend time in jail can’t be rehabilitated and turn their lives around.
He said: “I have been working on my lifestyle, and I want to show that people can come out of prison and do something with their lives.
“It is all about your attitude.
“Being in prison made me aware of the issues other people can have and it was an eye opener.
“It was bad what I was doing, but I am done with that now. I have a new outlook on life.
“Exactly two years ago, I wouldn’t have helped anyone, I would just help myself.
“But now I realise other people do need help.”
Now Jamie is getting ready to offer haircuts to homeless people and has also set up a sweet company to help bring a smile to people struggling in Dundee.
He continued: “I have got myself a flat and sorted all this in the past three months.
“It has been hard work, but it has been worth it.
“I’ve been reading, learning, taking online courses and watching videos to learn some new things.
“Coming out of prison takes a lot of adjusting to be honest, but I’ve got the right mind set to change things.
“I am going to be doing haircuts for homeless people and those who can’t afford it once the restrictions are lifted.
“There are people out there trying to get a job but they have a mop of hair and need it to look good, so I will be taking some time out of my day to cut people’s hair.
“I have also started up a sweet company that will do sweet boxes and cups and I will fill them up and go to homeless units to cheer them up, because they don’t have money to buy sweets.
“It will be something nice to do – getting a tub of sweets will put them in a good mood and put a smile on their face.
“I have spoken to a few homeless units to try and get stuff organised with them, and the Maxwell Centre is helping me as well.
“I just want to give back and help people as much as I can, because it is no skin off my back.”