A PRISONER has walked out of jail and straight into a role as assistant manager in a Middlesbrough restaurant.

Throughout the latter part of his sentence, Joe Fawcett worked at The Fork in the Road on day release from Kirklevington Grange prison.

He held a variety of roles at the eatery and was promoted to trainee manager late last year.

Following his release in September, he was offered a promotion and now acts as the assistant manager of the busy restaurant.

The Fork in the Road was launched by Middlesbrough based charity CEO Sleepout to give work and training opportunities to ex-offenders, the long-term unemployed and those looking for a fresh start.

Mr Fawcett said the restaurant had changed his life, adding: “I have served my sentence and worked my way up to assistant manager and I feel that this is just the start for me. I’ve been given this opportunity and I’m trying my best to prove myself and repay the faith that has been put in me.”

Businessman Andy Preston, chair of CEO Sleepout, said: “When I first saw Joe I saw a person who was enthusiastic, honest and just desperate for someone to give him a chance.

“In the 18 months I’ve worked with him I’ve seen someone with great energy, commitment and who really wants to deliver the best customer experience.

“Fork in the Road has been a huge success since it opened almost two years ago, with great reviews and loyal customers but Joe is one of its biggest success stories.”

Do you know anyone like Joe who has turned their life around?

Do you know anyone like Joe who has turned their life around? Why not let us know

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