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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

‘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

Getting permission from probation to travel to my brother’s wedding whilst on licence

From the day I received my custodial sentence, I was determined to turn my life around and make sure that I never went back to prison. I kept my head down all the time I was inside and upon release I’d already lined up a job volunteering

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

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