A young man from Chelmsley Wood, who almost ended up in prison for carrying an offensive weapon, has turned his life around and won a place on a prestigious art course.
James Jones, who is nearing the end of the two-year suspended sentence, is celebrating after being accepted for the Oxford University qualification, run by Solihull College.
The 22-year-old regularly attended sessions at Kitts Green probation office with his probation officer, Clare Dodd.
In addition to regular supervision meetings with Clare, James attended 27 two-hour group sessions to address anger management issues and has stopped using cannabis - which he started taking aged just 13.
His love for drawing, painting and photography was noted by Clare, who referred him to John Gaughan, a probation service officer from the education, training and employment team.
The organisation encouraged James to return to further education, despite a false start, and he started at Solihull College.
James said: “I never used to have the patience for college, but the support of people like John and Clare has helped me to keep trying.”