Founder of HoodEx appears on BBC Radio 4 to discuss positive change in South Shields

Ricky Gleeson spoke about his difficult past and how he will be supporting young people in need through his community interest company, HoodEx.

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An ex-offender turned soldier, who is supporting youngsters through his community interest company, HoodEx CIC has appeared on national radio to discuss his past, and his hopes for the future of young people in the North East.

Ricky Gleeson, who founded HoodEx CIC as a way to support young ex-offenders and people at risk of offending, through selling sustainable clothing, was recently interviewed on BBC Radio 4 by Mohini Patel.

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In the 28 minute long interview which was named ‘Redeeming Ricky’, Ricky spoke about his difficult upbringing and teenage years spent in both Slough and South Shields, and how it led to him offending and suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.

In the audio-only interview, Ricky visited various places alongside the interviewer, including areas of South Shields, telling stories along the way of his past, and how he managed to turn his life around for the better.

Ricky is now an armed guard in the British Army, as well as a husband and father, and is helping youngsters to follow in his footsteps by creating a brighter future for them.

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HoodEx, which is currently a market stall in South Shields, but will soon be in a shopping unit, sells branded high-quality vintage clothing, and the funds made from the sales will go towards support for youngsters in need, who will volunteer at the shop in exchange.

The support Ricky will be providing through HoodEx will include personal training, driving courses, wellness sessions, healthy food, and much more.

Ricky has been fundraising for the costs of being in a shop through Go Fund Me, and is almost at his target. HoodEx have also received support for the shop from Eldon Square, vintage clothing suppliers and other individuals.

Ricky said of his BBC Radio 4 appearance: “It was a good opportunity to show people that change is possible and about our plans to have a positive impact on South Shields.”