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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

Finding my place in the world through volunteering at Unlock

I was convicted of a serious offence towards the end of 2013.  As a result, I lost my job, my reputation and my self-esteem and I attempted suicide during the police investigation.  My wife, my family and most of my friends stood by me, but I had

Timpson’s gave me the key to unlock my future

Knowing that you’ve got a job to go to on leaving prison can relieve a lot of worry and anxiety. Michaela’s story sets out her experience of securing employment with Timpson’s whilst she was in prison and then upon release.    My name is Michaela and I’m

‘Be prepared’ – Facing up to my past and volunteering as a Scout Leader

Almost 20 years ago, I received two convictions; one for criminal damage and one for carrying an offensive weapon in a public place. This sounds absolutely terrible but, if I explain, you might get a better understanding of what happened. For about a year prior to my

Volunteering – Helping me to live life at last

I wanted to write about my recent experience of volunteering. Although it was at Unlock, I think my experience is is equally valuable to anybody who is looking for work and feeling despondent about the future. Volunteering was the start to a new brighter phase of my new

Unlock reception at the House of Lords

by Erica Crompton “I’ve got to run soon,” says Lord Ramsbotham, life peer in the House of Lords and president of Unlock. Speaking at Unlock’s reception, he adds: “But before I do I have to say, this is one of the nicest rooms in the House of

Links to policy and information

We categorise and tag posts to theRecord if they link to Unlock’s policy work or information. Links to policy work Unlock focuses on a number of key policy issues as part of its policy and campaign work. Making a close connection between personal stories and experiences posted on here

Transition – You never truly fail until you quit

My journey of transition unwittingly began as I lay face down at the banking of the Thames surrounded by a group of armed officers after having failed miserably in my bid to evade capture after a 5 hour armed siege. What then ensued was a series of

Shooting for the stars – getting a shotgun licence with a criminal record

As Bernie’s story shows, being told you can’t do something doesn’t always have to be the end of your dreams, but you’ll need plenty of resilience and often help from others.      Even if I do say so myself, I had a rather troubled upbringing and

The long journey from crack to carer – Working in a care home

It’s often felt that jobs within health or social care can be difficult to get into if you have a criminal record. However, as Melanie’s story shows, people with significant criminal records can successfully get into this type of work.     I’m sitting at Gatwick Airport