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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

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

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

Harnessing my anger to help myself and others – Becoming a teacher with a criminal record

Having grown up with an alcoholic and abusive father, I struggled to behave like a normal teenager. On reflection, I now appreciate how angry I was that nobody was trying to help me out of the dreadful situation I was in and my unwillingness to be ‘normal’

For better or worse – my relationship with a sex offender

Two years ago my life changed when I met a new man. He was kind, gentle, easy to talk to and made me laugh. The day after our first ‘date’ I received a text message from him which read: I need to tell you something but it