Alumnus of the month - September 2011

Andrez Harriott
BSc (Hons) Criminology and Sociology, 2011

Robert Humphreys

Andrez Harriott of R&B band Damage has recently graduated with a First in BSc (Hons) Criminology and Sociology. Prior to enrolling at LSBU Andrez had been working in the Criminal Justice Field for three years. He realised that it would be extremely beneficial to underpin his natural ability with theoretical knowledge in order to progress internationally.

Andrez knew it would be a big challenge, as not only was he was he enrolling on a full time course, but he was also working a 28 hour weeks as a Resettlement Officer within a Youth Offending Service. His job was to act as a support for young people leaving custody, helping them integrate back into society. Due to the demanding nature of his job Andrez had to be disciplined in order to reach his goals, “The early stages of the degree were very much about me adjusting my work and family life. My job within the South London Council is intense; it’s not your average nine to five. But the University was very supportive and made allowances for the demanding nature of my work when it came to time frames for assignments.”

During his three year degree Andrez received a promotion to the Senior Resettlement Officer role within a specialised team which supports young people and families fleeing gang-related violence; a partnership between a South London local authority and the Metropolitan Police. Andrez also received some wonderful news that his wife was expecting and gave birth to a baby girl as Andrez entered into the final year of his degree. Although he had the struggle of juggling a young family, his job and degree, Andrez still found time to re-enter into the music industry with Damage.

The birth of Andrez’s daughter, 8 weeks premature proved very difficult, his wife needed a lot of support moving to different hospitals for the specialist care, but the help from his Course Director and lecturers enabled Andrez to carry on with his studies.

Having been asked of his time at LSBU Andrez said “The teaching at LSBU was incredible. Other students were very supportive and we quickly developed friendships and support networks for completing assignments. Some of the topics covered were very challenging and I am happy that LSBU exposed us to the difficult issues which can only make me more effective within my job and personal life".

Although Andrez found the combination of full time work with study challenging, it has provided him with many advantages. He was able to apply the skill set he already had to his degree and learn new skills and ideas that would prove very useful in his job, helping him secure his promotion.

Plans for the future…
“At the moment I’m pleased to be applying the knowledge I have gained and working hard to support the families and individuals that I work with who are fleeing very dangerous and complex situations. I plan to set up my own business within the same field and I also have plans to come back to LSBU to talk to students and offer advice on how to juggle work and family life alongside other commitments".

After demands from fans for Damage to reform and release some new material music isn’t off the horizon either. The band is currently working towards this and will release all information of their activities and gigs at: www.damageworld.com.