How reformed Hartlepool armed robber and drug addict is now helping to change people's lives
A former Hartlepool criminal and drug addict helped to inspire people dealing with their own demons when he gave an eye-opening talk.
Andy Glenn who once committed armed robbery, GBH and served prison sentences, talked about how he managed to turn his life around on a visit to residents of the Changing Lives UK rehabilitation centre in Whitby Street.
It was arranged by town charity Miles for Men and was a huge success.
The centre, run by Reach Out Ministries, welcomed Andy, who is now a manager for a rehabilitation centre in London, and former Hartlepool boxer turned author Richy Horsley.
Richy has written a book about Andy’s extraordinary life called Angel With Dirty Hands which was published earlier this year.
Lee Wilmot from Miles for Men said: “Andy was coming up here at Christmas and offered to give a talk to the lads about what he has gone through in his life to give them a positive outlook and say there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“The book is about Andy dealing with drugs, going to prison and getting into scrapes with the police.
“He has now turned his life around and is helping people who are in similar situations to what he was.
“He was at Changing Lives for a couple of hours talking to the lads giving them advice.
“Everybody including myself and Micky Day (Miles for Men founder) sat in and we benefited from it. We could relate to things he had gone through like losing his daughter last year at the age of 21.”
Lee said the talk went down well with the clients who come from all over the country and are dealing with drug, alcohol and other personal issues.
“The response was brilliant,” he said. “It gave them so much enthusiasm to say ‘yes we can do this’.
Miles for Men are regular supporters of Changing Lives UK in Hartlepool.
The charity has previously given the centre laptop computers and televisions.
“We talk to them as people,” said Lee. “They don’t want to be remembered for what they were but what they are going to do in the future.”