Our Story

Formed in 2013, Community Led Initiatives has established itself as one of the leading peer-led organisations in the country.  We deliver personalised and intensive mentoring support to people who find it hard to rebuild their lives after facing significant challenges in life. 

How CLI began

CLI was formed in 2013 by Pete and Matt, who had rebuilt their lives after addiction, mental ill health and prison. By the time Pete reached 30 years old, he had spent most of his life in and out of local authority care and the prison system.

 His lifestyle revolved around crime and using drugs and over time, this really affected his mental health, with bouts of depression which he masked with his drug use.Pete found it hard to imagine a life in wider society and felt it was beyond him to be able to overcome the stigma and barriers which had built up over the years living the life he had.

 

Matt had spent over 10 years struggling with addiction.  Though he worked and maintained some ties into society, at times Matt led a double life, hiding his drug use from those near to him.  Matt also struggled to cope with his mental health and was often affected by anxiety and depression.


Building a new life is not easy.  Leaving behind everything and everyone you know and trying to find a new place in society comes with many challenges.  Pete and Matt managed to do this with the help of loved ones and other people who came to play important roles in their lives.  But both felt let down by some of their experiences of support services.

Our Story

How CLI began

CLI was formed in 2013 by Pete and Matt, who had rebuilt their lives after addiction, mental ill health and prison. By the time Pete reached 30 years old, he had spent most of his life in and out of local authority care and the prison system.  His lifestyle revolved around crime and using drugs and over time, this really affected his mental health, with bouts of depression which he masked with his drug use.

Pete found it hard to imagine a life in wider society and felt it was beyond him to be able to overcome the stigma and barriers which had built up over the years living the life he had.

Matt had spent over 10 years struggling with addiction.  Though he worked and maintained some ties into society, at times Matt led a double life, hiding his drug use from those near to him.  Matt also struggled to cope with his mental health and was often affected by anxiety and depression.

Building a new life is not easy.  Leaving behind everything and everyone you know and trying to find a new place in society comes with many challenges.  Pete and Matt managed to do this with the help of loved ones and other people who came to play important roles in their lives.  But both felt let down by some of their experiences of support services.

Our Story

"Building a new life is not easy. Leaving behind everything and everyone you know and trying to find a new place in society comes with many challenges."

Pete and Matt met on a volunteer development programme and shared a passion and vision for the future which led to the formation of Community Led Initiatives which is now established as one of the leading peer-led organisations in the country. 

Our approach to working with people on a very human level has seen us successfully deliver projects around the country.  Our lived experiences helped to shape and inform our approach and establish the values which drives CLI forward.

Within CLI, we have built on the mentoring support we provide by creating new routes into society for the people we support.  We have supported our partners to develop ways to remove the barriers that can stop people progressing.  This ‘systems change’ strategy led to Matt following his passion and establishing his own consultancy business.

Matt now uses his expertise to advocate and facilitate user involvement in public sector systems design and procurement processes.

Pete has continued to build the organisation and just a few years on from our humble beginnings of just 2 founders, CLI now employs 13 people and is supported by an ever-increasing team of over 80 volunteers.

Working hard to support people to overcome their challenges and achieve their goals in life is both what binds us and drives us on.

But equally as important to us is our role in influencing conversations around building more connected communities and improving social cohesion.

“We have been working with Peter and CLI for many years and the relationships that they build with people coming out of prison is invaluable – people that engage with CLI for over six months after being released from prison are 75 per cent less likely to reoffend.  Peter embodies the fact that anyone can turn their life around with the right support and grit and determination, and we are delighted to work with him.”

                     – ACC Garry Shewan from Greater Manchester Police

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WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU

Please contact us if you would like to work with us, either as a volunteer or a like minded
organisation.