Darryl Laycock has encountered many people in all walks of life. Some he encountered early on in life and some he met once he decided to turn his life and use his street smarts to create a positive change around him in his community. Here are some of the things that people have said about him.
Parent Testimonial – 13/08/2020
At 14 my son began to get into trouble at school, would be absent from home, smoking cannabis and getting into fights. The day I found a knife in his bedroom my world fell apart.
Darryl was responsive and quick to act on the information I provided and went out of his way to meet with my son. Initially my son was reluctant and disengaged. Darryl worked hard to bond with him and built a relationship of trust and openness. My son confided in Darryl who was always professional and approachable to the point where his confidence grew and he was able to communicate his emotional needs. They shared humour and he would smile and laugh; something that I hadn’t seen my son do for a long time.
Darryl supported my son and me during school meetings about his behaviour and conduct. Darryl was able to express an alternative perspective on my son’s experience of school and the negative impact this can have on boys when they are not given positive reinforcement. As a single Mum I appreciated the common-sense approach Darryl took and his reassurances, it was like a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I had someone rooting for the cause.
Six months on and I have my beautiful son back. I can honestly say without Darryl’s dedication and effort, we may have been in a very different situation. Having Darryl on side from the very start I believe, made significant advancements in turning around the change. With Darryl there is no procrastination, he acts swiftly to the needs of these young people because he knows their life matters. Darryl is an advocate for change in knife crime and teaches these young adults about the implications involved and inspires them to make better life choices.
This intervention was only made possible through #Terminology project supporting Darryl in this role. Thank you to them for helping to facilitate this work.
“Very rarely do the type of character Darryl was rehabilitate, this is why I support him, it takes a lot of courage to turn your back on almost everything and everyone you have associated with your whole life, this is exactly what Darryl has done.”
“Darryl’s reputation as a major player on the gang scene of South Manchester proceeded him. Therefore when I was informed of his supposed reform and asked to visit him in prison I was somewhat sceptical. His enthusiasm and desire to help others was evident immediately, but I remained guarded for some time. He has since completely won me over to the extent where I have entrusted him to work with some of the highest risk individuals in society. His diligence and attitude towards his work is commendable. In the relatively brief time Darryl has been out of prison he has developed both personally and professionally into an accomplished individual.
I am fully aware the road has been anything but a smooth one, he has had many downs since his release. There have been times when I have seriously worried that he would stray back towards his previous life but, he has shown tremendous courage and resilience not to let that happen.
I am proud to call Darryl a friend, something I would never have dreamt of 8 years ago.”
I have known Darryl Laycock for over 20 years and acted for him in several serious criminal cases. Since his last sentence I have been incredibly impressed by the turnaround in his life. Darryl is utterly committed to working with young people to keep them away from drugs and crime.
He speaks with real authority, makes a big impact and I wish him every success in this important work.
Chris Daw QC
“Darryl is such an important role model for young people because he has massive credibility with young people as he has actually lived the life that many misguided young people seek to live, having been so deep into that lifestyle it would be easy for Darryl to continue where he left off and he would still gain the respect of these young people, but far from this he actively walks them through “the life” in a non judgemental non preaching informal way which is massively important in gaining the young people’s attention, whilst guiding them toward the right lifestyle choice.
I have worked with young people for 20 years in Toxteth however the delivery that Darryl has and the approach he takes is one that allows him to work with young people who many including myself have thought were too far gone, this is were his credibility and experience comes in and opens doors that very few people can.
Darryl is also rare in that he is massively respected by people within the community,criminal fraternity, and authorities alike, not many people can fulfill a role such as his and still retain excellent trusting relationships with all concerned.
I believe that Darryl will further enhance his work and in turn save many more lives, this is what Darryl does on a weekly basis with not just a preventative angle but with people who are deeply involved and at risk of harming themselves their families and their communities. GOOD LUCK DARRYL YOU DESERVE THIS”
Having spent a little time with Darryl and seeing him present his lived experience at a Conference, it is truly a miracle that he is alive. Darryl could have easily gone incognito, however, despite the incredibly difficult life journey he has been on the fact that he is so committed to preventing others from going through the same turbulence leads me to believe that he ‘survived to save’ others.
What Darryl has to offer in terms of crime prevention and giving young people hope is unique and could potentially save the lives of some of our future generation. With the statistics for knife and gun crime continually increasing I will certainly be calling on Darryl to work with professionals, young people and their families at the earliest opportunity as his knowledge, advice and expertise could literally save lives.
Donna Sergeant (Children, Young People, Families Worker/Manager for over 25 years)
“Darryl has a unique skill in being able to connect and resonate with young people. Darryl works tirelessly and passionately to empower and encourage youngsters to aspire and reach higher than what a life of crime on the streets has to offer.. Darryl embodies his motto
‘It’s Never Too Late’
and this conveys in his enthusiasm and commitment in his ethos and the work he does with young people”.
Just wanted to say a big thank you for delivering your training to us today. I found it to be informative, thought provoking and extremely interesting, not only through gaining knowledge via your power point presentation but also through the discussions we all had throughout, which included your open and honest approach to your own history to where you are today.
It was good to hear about all the other work you do with young people and raising awareness of gangs to a variety of others, you are an inspiration and living proof that good choices can be made. Also want to say thanks for sharing all your resources with us. I am looking forward to putting them into practice with the young people we work with.
Carry on the great work you do, helping both young people and adults change their perceptions about gangs and raising awareness to it.
K W Registered Care Manager
In 10 years of working in crime awareness there has been 162 ex-offenders approach me post release or released on temporary license, stating they wanted to turn their lives around or prevent others making the same mistakes they had.
- I have worked with 162 of them on their reintegration, rehabilitation and personal development.
- 130 of these expressed a wish to undertake curative work with CYP educating them on the consequences of crime, using their negative pasts to inspire positive futures.
- In my opinion around 97-99 of them genuinely wanted to do this work.
- Around 57 did their best to deliver this message.
- Of which no more than 11 had the ability to engage and get the message across effectively.
- In my opinion 7- 8 actually have the credibility and experience needed for CYP to listen.
- 4 or 5 have the right intentions and do the work for the benefit of others.
- But there was one who stands out and continues no matter what is thrown at them.
Darryl Laycock is not just 1 in 162 he is a one in a million. I have personally seen Darryl go through hardships and climb mountains that no other person could have, just because he wants to help others. This man is an inspiration to both I and anyone who actually wants to make a difference for others.
We deal with CYP deemed the most hard to reach in the country and work in the most deprived communities out there, CYP often come from injurious family backgrounds and lack positive role models. I have witnessed Darryl work with and inspire these youngsters to become the best they can, the impact of which is quite astonishing. He has an ability to engage CYP from all backgrounds, this is a unique attribute which no one is born with but he somehow has. Children have a great talent in that they can see through the bullshit that is why they wont tolerate others but listen to people like Darryl and can relate to him, in turn learning from his past mistakes made and genuine regret.
Good luck mate, you deserve so much always remember there will always be others who gladly take credit for changing peoples lives but keep fighting the fight because it is people like yourself who actually do change lives.
CELLS Project Development Manager.
Get in touch with Darryl