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Job centre advisors – make sure you understand the problems facing ex-offenders

In October 2015 I found myself sitting in front of a job centre adviser desperate for her to help me find a job so that I’d have some money to buy my kids some Christmas presents and to put that all important turkey on the table. I

The ongoing impact of my husband’s offence – being disqualified by association

When I was 39 weeks pregnant, I was told by my employer (a school) that, as a result of my husband’s criminal record, I was ‘disqualified by association‘ and would be suspended from my job as a teacher until such time as I was granted a waiver

What I wish I’d known 8 years ago – moving on with a spent conviction

Recently I applied for a volunteering role with Unlock. I filled in my application form, had an interview and was invited along to do a couple of ‘taster days’. The purpose of these are for Unlock to understand your skills but, more importantly, for you to decide

My world’s just got bigger – disclosing my conviction to a new partner and travelling to Canada

I’d been seeing Michael for a couple of months and enjoyed his company. We liked the same things – going for walks, nice meals, dancing. It wasn’t love at first sight but I’m 67 so not surprising really. The thing is, I’m not your average 67 year

The £6k scratch and using Unlock’s list of brokers to get car insurance

I’m 50 years of age and have been driving for almost 30 years. In 2013, I was convicted of drink driving and banned for 14 months. I paid my fine and served my ban. At the end of the ban I got insurance from GoSkippy for £600

Trustee or senior manager of a charity and have convictions? Are you affected by the Charities Act 2016?

People with convictions play an important role in many charities, particularly those working in the criminal justice sector. Becoming a trustee or leading a charity as part of the senior management team are important roles that people with convictions should be encouraged to take on, and we

John O’Groats to Land’s End – not as far as the journey from armed robber to vicar!

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from watching Robin Hood on television, it’s that even the most hardened lawbreakers can defy all expectations and turn their lives around. Some will go on to earn millions in the business world, others will help other individuals in need. I’ve

My prison and volunteering journey – Volunteering at Unlock

Prison isn’t a nice place to be, let’s be honest. I was told so many times that I ‘stuck out like a sore thumb’ due to my diction and mannerisms. I just didn’t fit in, which in turn often attracted the wrong kind of attention. So, I

A big thank you to Maureen – The power of peer support

We’ve recently been sent this blog by Paula who was keen that we share it to let people know how important volunteers in prison and fellow prisoners are in supporting others to survive.   It was the anniversary of my release from prison yesterday and these words

Food for thought at the food bank – An old sexual offence getting in the way of collecting food

I’ve just been released from prison having completed two years of a four year sentence. The offence I was convicted of happened when I was 14 years old. I’m now 31. During the past 17 years I’ve never been in any trouble with the police. I’m married