I was trying to separate myself from some people that I’d offended with, so I decided to come south to Sudbury jail and somebody who had been there previously said that they do a link with CAB, it’s something to look at, so when I arrived at Sudbury I put the application form in and they accepted me. I came and started inputting and learning how to use the phones and then it’s progressed from there for me. I’ve been quite fortunate in what I’ve been able to do while I’ve been here.
I’ve done the full GA (Generalist Advice) training, I’ve got the GA certificate I’ve done Advice Session Supervision course and completed on the job training here. I’ve had the opportunity to cover diary, reception, telephone co-ordinator and got paid employment, although it’s only part time as a gateway assessor, and I’ve been on an outreach programme in conjunction with Ingeus who do the work programme for the job centre. I’ve only been in the programme since November 2012 so in the sixteen months I feel I’ve worked hard for them, but I feel that they’ve really given me the opportunity to get training and qualifications and skills and abilities to help me go forward. I’ve got a job interview on Friday with Shelter and I’ve had a couple of other interviews where only it being the fact that I’m on licence has stopped me getting the employment not the actual skills and abilities which I’ve got through working here so you know like I said I give them a lot back but they’ve afforded me the opportunities.
You never feel like you are being treated differently because of where you are coming from, I’ve got to be honest with you, everybody in the organisation makes you feel welcome and makes you feel a valued part of the team really so it’s good. The team downstairs are very supportive, but even the people that are upstairs, you don’t feel like you’re being judged at all, obviously they are aware of the project , there’s no surprises when you say like well I’m one of the new lads from Sudbury or whatever.
I was coasting before I came to jail going from one job to another without any clear thing that I wanted to do really and since coming here and getting into doing this it’s given me a career plan and given me something that I want to do and a sector that I want to stay in. So it’s been positive, best way to put it is, it’s given me a kick up the backside basically.