Life-changing support allowed Kirkcaldy man to start his own business

Shuggy Hughes and Jordan Melville at the Gallatown Bike Hub. Pic: George McLuskie.Shuggy Hughes and Jordan Melville at the Gallatown Bike Hub. Pic: George McLuskie.
Shuggy Hughes and Jordan Melville at the Gallatown Bike Hub. Pic: George McLuskie.
Jordan’s tribute to the YM team which believed in him

A Kirkcaldy man has turned his life around by starting his own business after turning his back on a life of crime.

Jordan Melville, 29, from Templehall was homeless at 14 and has had several stints in prison as he took the wrong path in life in a struggle to survive.

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But, he has defied the odds after settling down with his partner, and started his own waste management and gardening service company.

Jordan’s life started to go downhill after his parents marriage broke down.

He said: “My mum and dad separated when I was only 13. My mum remarried and that is when all of my problems seemed to start.

"I didn’t get on with her new husband so I went to stay with my dad and his new partner, but things were just as bad with them.

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"I ended up staying at my grandparents house for a while, but because they were old age pensioners they couldn’t cope with me. I had ADHD and behaviour issues – that’s when I turned to the streets.”

Jordan would sometimes sleep in bus stops or phone boxes if he wasn’t lucky enough to find a friend or relative who would let him sleep on their sofa, turning to a life of crime in order to survive.

"This is when I started to go down the wrong path,” he said. “I was only 14 and didn’t know what to do. I was hanging around with the wrong crowd and they were encouraging me to go and steal things with them.

"I stole to survive, if I wanted to eat I would have to steal food, if I wanted new clothes I would have to steal them, I would steal to make money so I could pay someone to let me stay in their house so I wouldn’t have to sleep rough .

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"I had nothing, I used to think that my friends had the best of things, but when I think back, they were cared for and loved, unlike me – there were times that I was suicidal because no one cared about me.

"The only people who ever had time for me when I was younger were Shuggy and his team at Kirkcaldy YMCA. They tried to set me on the right path.

"I always listened to what they were telling me, but I struggled to believe them as I had been let down by so many people before, and I was scared that they were going to let me down too.”

Jordan admits his life of crime over the years did not gone un-noticed by the police. He served several prison terms for various crimes.

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He added: "In total I have been to prison six times. The longest stretch was 17 months for theft, dishonesty and driving without a licence.

"The last time that I went to prison I had been with my partner for about a year and I was happy and doing well, but a disqualified driving charge that I had caught up with me, and I ended up serving four months.

"That really hit me hard. It was horrible being away from my partner and our kids.

"I woke up one morning in my cell and something clicked inside of me. I thought I can’t go on like this, I was stuck in the same cycle and had to make a change. That was three years ago.”

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When Jordan was released, he was determined to change his life and become a better man.

He said: "I started Jordan’s Waste Management and Garden Services last year and it has really been life changing. I have something to focus on now and I’m really making a go of it.

"We do everything from house clearances to slabbing and chipping. I’m working with the Job Centre to make sure I have all the relative permits and I also have two guys working with me.

"I want to tell any young people who may be on the wrong path to try to stick in at school and listen to your parents – hopefully in a couple of years, if my business is doing good, I want to start an organisation that mentors and helps troubled kids.”

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And he says he owes a lot to Shuggy Hughes, community development worker, and the team at the YM.

"He has always been there for me. He always took the time to talk to me, he always understood and never judged me, I can still go to him for advice if I need it, I can’t thank the man enough.”

Shuggy said: “It is incredible to see how much Jordan has turned his life around. When he was younger he never got the support that he needed, from his school and in the community.

"All he ever needed was for someone to sit down with him and talk to him, and to give him the time and space to burn the masses of energy that he has. We gave him the time to be himself and to find out who he was.

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"If he had been given the proper support when he was younger he would have got to where he is now a lot quicker – he is a really intelligent guy and has always been a delight to work with.”

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