Liam turns his life around

JUST one year ago Liam Rayner was at war with the world - and wouldn't have been a likely candidate for this celebratory edition.The teenage tearaway was at loggerheads with his parents, out of school and unwilling to listen to anyone who offered him help.

JUST one year ago Liam Rayner was at war with the world - and wouldn't have been a likely candidate for this celebratory edition.

The teenage tearaway was at loggerheads with his parents, out of school and unwilling to listen to anyone who offered him help.

But in just one year he has tried to turn his life around. He is now a committed volunteer and has embarked on a new course.

Reflecting on his past the 17-year-old former Claydon High School pupil said: “I was living at home in Sproughton and I wasn't too great in school. I was getting into trouble a lot. It got to the point that they could have expelled me.

“I thought I knew exactly what was right for me and wouldn't listen to anyone else so I ended up dropping out.

“My relationship with my parents broke down too so I moved out and sofa-surfed for a bit.

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“I went to work in a farm for a bit but I was lazy.”

Then Liam went to live at the Foyer in Ipswich, a charitable organisation which helps youngsters into independence and gives them a place to stay. The experience of having to fend for himself shocked him, and made him determined to get his life back on track.

He started volunteering with fellow young people as part of the Millennium Volunteers and is in the process of producing a music CD.

He is now studying agriculture at Otley College and is hoping to go into farming eventually.

And Liam is convinced he has changed for the better, and for good. He added: “I've changed my life - it's put everything into perspective.

“I realised I took everything my parents did for granted and it must have been hard for them to deal with me. It has made me a better person.”

For more information about volunteering visit www.wearev.com.

, American essayist and critic>

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