“15 months ago I started a custodial term after being sentenced to 4 years, I thought my world was over and how on earth did someone like me end up in a place like this. I had been working in a high paced senior management role one day and the next I was in prison ... what the heck!
“After a couple of weeks of 'it's the end of the world' thinking, I was introduced to the Shannon Trust team. I was asked if I would train to become a mentor and see if I could help out. I was welcomed with open arms. Unfortunately, after 4 weeks or so I was unexpectedly shipped to [a different prison], and that's where Shannon Trust has really come into its own for me. Over the last year I have continued mentoring and I am now the ST prison coordinator – go team me!! The group started to build slowly but we've recently got to be a team of 6 mentors, we've been granted our own time and dedicated work space over weekends, we have a number of completed and ongoing learners, and with the help of the education staff (who are amazing) we have just had a glowing report after a regional visit.
“I would obviously love to take all the applause for Shannon Trust being so successful in [our prison] at the moment, but those 'pesky guys' who've volunteered to be mentors, and the guys who keep coming back to learn more and more are the ones who deserve the praise. Without the time and dedication from the mentors and the learners, 'we' would be nowhere.
“I can't thank Shannon Trust enough for opening my eyes to those less well off, I am sorry to admit I am ashamed of my ignorance through life before prison. For giving me purpose and the opportunity to work with such a great bunch of guys, both mentors and learners, on improving their futures. Long may it continue!”
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