Bearpark is an ex-colliery town in Durham England that was badly affected by the miners strikes, and the ultimate demise of coal mining in England in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Gary grew up with little education in a time of severe austerity, and spent his childhood stealing food and coal to stay warm and fed. Over the years this escalated into a life of crime, and was given two prison sentences for violent crimes against the person. In his second prison term, Gary learned to read and write, and eventually began to realise his self worth.
Gary has turned his life around and now uses his respected and influential position in the community he grew up in to discourage young people from taking the path in life he chose.