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A lifetime of helping people – don’t hold this one mistake against me

My life hasn’t always been easy. I’ve seen some real tragedy; not least my husband’s suicide which then led to my receiving a criminal record. I can’t begin to explain what was going on in my head following my husbands suicide. There were days when I thought

Celebrating the achievement of an outstanding learner

The Festival of Learning, which took place in June, is the biggest national celebration of lifelong learning in England. Each year, ahead of the Festival, an awards ceremony is hosted (The Inspire Awards) to celebrate the achievements of outstanding learners who’ve shown exceptional passion, commitment and drive

I didn’t know the real sentence would start after leaving prison

I’ll start this with the following statement: If someone had told me I’d have a criminal record and get a prison term three years ago, I’d have laughed. However, the reality of this journey has been eye-opening and frightening! The pre-prison journey was horrendous and my lack

Seeing the legal system from both sides – and becoming a solicitor!

In 1993 I drove the ‘get away’ vehicle in a robbery. It goes without question that this is a crime that I am deeply ashamed of and one I regret every day. I had grown up on council estates and seen friends make mistakes and get in

Invitation to Prisoners’ Education Trust’s Alumni Party

Every year the Prisoners’ Education Trust (PET) funds around 2,000 people to take distance-learning courses in prison, and this summer, they are throwing a party to celebrate their success. PET would like to invite anyone who has been involved in prison education to join them for an

When is enough, enough?

From the age of twenty, I trained with The National Trust specialising in the repair of old buildings following which, I began my own building business. At the same time, I sang both at amateur level and professionally as a tenor in various local operatic companies. In

Five years in the life of a person with conviction

I’d like to share with you my journey since I received my conviction over 5 years ago. In 2010, I received a conviction – the first time ever I’d had a run in with the criminal justice system. Shortly after sentencing Shortly after I was sentenced, I fell

From brothel to boardroom

I would generally describe myself as a clever woman. I’ve had a good education. I’ve had some really good, well paid jobs. I’ve travelled the world. My social skills are fine and I’ve got a wide circle of friends. However, I’m not the smart a**e you might

Functioning on a daily basis with a sexual offences order

I hear so many stories about the difficulties that people encounter trying to live with Sexual Offences Prevention Orders (SOPO’s) or Sexual Harm Prevention Orders (SHPO’s). If you’ve just been given a SOPO/SHPO and are struggling to see how you’re ever going to be able to live

Going straight and loving it

I spent about 20 years of my life abusing drugs and grafting to pay for them (you name it, shoplifting, card fraud, car crime etc). I didn’t consider doing anything else, it was just a way of life for me. Well, as you can no doubt imagine, the