Like so many others at that age, Tina Bayliss thought she had it all. A steady job, her own flat and a car, which added together spelt independence. Life for a 17 year old was good and when she met the man of her dreams it seemed complete.
Yet what started as a match made in heaven quickly turned sour along an all too familiar path. An introduction to drugs led to shoplifting followed by more serious and violent crime to feed her habit. As the downward spiral continued, Tina lost contact with her family and control of her three children.
The turning point came when Magistrates gave her one final choice. Go to prison or seek help at the Nelson Trust's ISIS Centre in Gloucester, a secure women-only haven offering support for problems related to offending, substance misuse, safety and well-being.
Tina said "I'll be forever thankful I made the right choice. ISIS got to the bottom of why I was offending and saw something in me that I never did. They made me realise it's more about victims than just thinking about myself. As a result, they boosted my confidence and helped me with employment. I'm doing my mentoring course and I hope I can go on and help someone in the same position I was in".
Ruth Saunders from the Nelson Trust which runs the ISIS Centre said "It's [the PCC's support] been fantastic because it's meant that we can really develop the group work programme we do at the ISIS women's centre. It means that we can develop employability skills for women who will come into our services. We help them build their self-esteem, some really important stuff, really stepping stone stuff to help them move forward with their lives. Obviously there's a cost to what we do at ISIS so it's helped us get the workers to deliver the courses, to accredit them and to meet the needs of all our clients".
Tina is now in a happy, stable relationship and the couple recently had their first child together, a baby girl. She is reconciled with her family and is also hoping for improved custody rights to her three other children.
This story is taken from the website of the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner. To view the original article click here.