Michael's Story

'Michael’ was first referred to us by South Wales Police as he was known to be active in supporting far right groups in Swansea. Aged 25, long-term unemployed, with a known alcohol addiction, he was coming to the police’s attention for self-harming and petty-crime.  Police officers suggested he be referred to the Think project, and an initial meeting was arranged. After a few sessions, barriers started to be broken down, and the young person was supported to deal with his most pressing problem of alcohol abuse leading to self-harm, and was then supported to access a specialist substance misuse service. Once this trust had been established, more in-depth discussion could be held around the issues of race, immigration, asylum and Islam, which appeared to be bothering this young person.

He had too many unanswered questions, and was being encouraged to attend and cause trouble at far-right demonstrations.

Many sessions ensued, with the Think project worker offering a combination of practical support and debate and discussion, debunking myths. Ultimately, this young person was very grateful for the support offered by this Muslim Asian Youth worker, and this friendship together with the facts he had been able to learn, meant that he was ultimately much more resilient to the offer of joining in with far right activity in Swansea. He remains in contact with the project, and continues to receive support, but is no longer involved in far right groups.