Ex-offender hopes to help others with his start-up

A FORMER delinquent teenager who turned his life around is hoping to put his life experience to good use and help others.Â

John Ryder from Life Style Choices
John Ryder from Life Style Choices

John Ryder, from Landport, has set up social start-up Life Style Choices, offering free help on a range of issues including debt, IT skills, court cases, jobs plus more. 

The 45-year-old dad-of-one said he has been blown away by the support shown for his idea since it launched earlier this year. 

John, who is studying for a degree in criminology at the University of Portsmouth, said: '˜I made a lot of mistakes when I was younger so I feel I have a lot to offer to the community. 

Life Style Choices

'˜I was stuck in a young offenders' institution, thinking I was never going to be able to get away from that life, but I'm proof that you can.' 

John started Life Style Choices with Lauren Simmonds, who he met at Highbury College while they were studying for a diploma in human health and sciences, with the aim of empowering people so they can make the right choices. 

The pair operate from the university's start-up incubator Nest, which is based at Innovation Space, an office and co-working space, in Hampshire Terrace.

John said: '˜I've been helping people for a long time, because of my background I had some knowledge of the court system.

'˜I kept having people ask me to help them so I thought I'd finally do something about it and set up a charity.

'˜I don't want to make any money from it because I feel that if you are helping people for money then you are doing it for the wrong reason.'  

The pair say they are delighted to see so much support and hope to recruit more people to help them. 

They have also picked up an award '“ winning best social start-up award from Nest. 

To get involved call 07871515323 or 07990814942, or search @ChoicesLsc on Twitter.