Novus in Custody 'Anna' looks forward to a brighter future

A Novus learner at HMP New Hall used her time in custody to build a brighter future for herself.

While in prison, ‘Anna’ achieved qualifications in Level 3 Adult Education and Training, Level 2 Barista Skills, Levels 1 and 2 in Business Administration, Level 2 Customer Service, Level 2 Information and Guidance (IAG) and Level 2 Food Safety in Catering. Through her achievements Anna not only increased her skills but her confidence grew too.

Anna is passionate about raising awareness of the importance of the diverse communities and cultures not only within the prison, but in the wider community, and her boost in confidence enabled her to create and deliver sessions about Ramadan and Eid to the whole prison community. The importance of being tolerant, supportive and respectful of each other and people’s individual faiths and beliefs, were central to her sessions.


The Story

While in prison, Anna attended a number of lectures delivered by Dr Bill Davies and Dr Katie Dhingra from Leeds Beckett University. The lectures inspired her to look forward once released and she took the plunge to apply for a degree in Criminology at the university. After written support from HMP New Hall’s Governing Governor, Avtar Purewal, Head of Learning and Skills and Karen Grant, Novus Learning Support Team Leader and a tutor at the prison, Anna was accepted on to the course.

Anna has now started the next chapter in her life and is looking forward to the future. She said: “My time at HMP New Hall helped me to see a bigger picture to life. I felt that the doors for success were closed for me, but my experience at New Hall has helped me look forward to a brighter future. I now feel I will succeed and secure a positive prosperous future for myself.

“Prison has made me a stronger individual. University is a big step for me to further myself. My confidence and drive to succeed was because of the emotional experience I went through. My support network in and out of prison helped me through my days. Overall the tough experience of imprisonment has opened up many doors of success for me. My self-motivation and confidence was drawn up from inside the four walls, building a positive picture of myself and my future.”

David Tilley, Novus Education Manager at HMP New Hall, said: “For many of our women, serving time, while staying focused and determined on changing their life, is a continual battle. Working together with HMPPS colleagues and other agencies in the prison, we strive to provide activities to engage and support the women. It is heartening to see the positive effect this can have on residents like Anna.”

I now feel I will succeed and secure a positive prosperous future for myself


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