A once troublesome teen is helping to reform young offenders after turning her own life around - thanks to a course run by South Yorkshire firefighters and police.
Hayley Pashley, aged 16, of Brinsworth, was referred to the Achieving Respect and Confidence course, run by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and South Yorkshire Police, after she started missing school and became involved in anti-social behaviour.
The Brinsworth Comprehensive pupil missed almost an entire year of school due to her behaviour but displayed a marked improvement after completing the week-long fire station-based course which involved a visit to Doncaster Prison and a series of intensive drill yard sessions.
Last month Hayley returned to Darnall fire station to work as a mentor for a fresh group of young people on the ARC programme in the hope of inspiring them to change their ways.
Hayley said: “Last year I was bunking off school and causing trouble almost every day. It was normal for the police to be round our house and I think my dad had almost given up on me. It’s incredible to think that I’m now offering advice to other youngsters and helping sort out their squabbles.
“At the start of the ARC course last year I wasn’t really interested, but after two or three days the group really started to bond and I suppose I saw an opportunity to be a part of something positive. “We all got on with each other and came to realise that the more effort we put in, the more we got out of it.
“I’m not sure if one single thing changed my outlook but what really had an effect on me was visiting prison and talking to the inmates.
“It really did make me think how close I had come to being there, and how I never ever wanted to end up in that place.
“The course genuinely has made a difference to my life. I haven’t been in trouble with the police since.”