ACTIVITY 249: Written by
Chris Lightbown for The Sunday Times, this article is about ex-rogue
Richard Gillard. A rogue is a deceitful and unreliable scoundrel,
someone who does evil deliberately.
Read the newspaper article and find out what actually happened to him.
You will have to do
three activities about this article. Firstly, quickly read the article below and
choose the most appropriate title from the menu. Then check the correct answer.
When he was 17, Richard Gillard staggered home drunk one afternoon to find his
parents had changed the locks on the family home and dumped his possessions
'I couldn't have cared less. I just put my head on the doorstep, and fell
asleep,' he remembers. Less tolerant parents might have changed the locks
earlier. Gillard had fought with teachers at school, smashed furniture at home,
been discharged from the army after a fight, threatened his parents with
violence and was well-known throughout the neighbourhood for his dirty and
When his despairing parents threw him out, he slept under cars and in hedgerows
for three weeks until a chance meeting with a petty
criminal opened up new vistas. 'We went all round Wales doing odd jobs, sleeping
in the car.'
That came to an end when Gillard wrote off the car racing it against an
oiltanker for a £50 bet. At 18, his only possessions were the clothes he stood
Three years later. Gillard has just completed a full-time course on helping
the housebound elderly and disabled, has a regular girlfriend, is back home with
his parents, and does voluntary work with mentally handicapped people in his
He has become a model member of society, transformed by spending 10 months on
a project called 'The Prince of Wales Community Venture'. The project involves
small groups of
youths, largely but not entirely unemployed, in a range of activities. The aim
is to mix young people who are heading for brilliant careers with more average
young people and those who are considered hopeless cases, like Gillard.
Gillard's team ranged from a gypsy to the daughter of a retired oil executive.
The team spends short periods with the police, fire or ambulance services;
they study first aid and sports leadership; they work on building sites; they do
a lot of adventurous outdoor activities, such as climbing rock faces.
But where the project departs radically from conventional schemes is in its
placing of team members, including those viewed as hopelessly
aggressive or inadequate, in short-term placements in the caring professions.
Gillard spent six weeks working as an assistant in a day centre for the mentally
handicapped. 'I was terrified. I had never come across people older than me who
had to be treated like children. But, somehow, I found I could help them.'
Gillard has no doubt that the project works. 'I think the idea of doing
constructive things is there in most people, even in someone as far gone as I
was. What made the difference for me was seeing people at the day centre with
problems worse than mine trying to do something about it. The project saved my
Now, read again the article carefully and find the
words which express the explanations below. Then
check your answers.
sent home (PARAGRAPH
ranges of possibilities (PARAGRAPH 3):
crashed and ruined (PARAGRAPH 4):
not well enough to leave the house (PARAGRAPH 5):
on their way to (PARAGRAPH 6):
jobs done while being trained
Finally, after reading the article again, choose
the best answer (A, B, C, or D) for questions 1-to-4. Then
check your answers.
Why did Richard Gillard leave home at 17?
A. He was drunk. B. His parents wanted him to leave. C. He wanted to join the army.
D. He wanted to
go to Wales.
He lived in a car until he ...
A. met a criminal. B. left Wales. C. crashed the car.
D. found a job.
What is the aim of the 'Prince of Wales Community Venture'?
A. to help young people feel part of society B. to help young people find good
careers C. to provide a variety of leisure activities
D. to take care of mentally
At the day centre Gillard learnt how to ...
A. look after old people. B. look after
children. C. solve problems.
D. appreciate his advantages.
La historia de Ricardo es realmente
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REASON, RESULT and PURPOSE ...