Novus in Custody Learner Lee: Education changed my life

Before his arrival at HMP Onley, ‘Lee’ spent five years in different prisons, where he did not work and did not engage with education. The days felt like they lasted a lifetime and he had low self-esteem.

He reluctantly enrolled onto English and Maths courses with Novus and soon discovered they gave him a sense of purpose. He forged effective working relationships with his tutors, developing good communication skills and the eagerness to learn more.

Lee achieved Level 1 in Maths and Customer Services and Level 2 in English. He also secured a cleaning job within the Education department, which helped him to develop further employability skills.

Novus is committed to giving learners like Lee the skills, qualification and knowledge they need in order to find work when they leave prison, vastly improving their chances of leading crime-free lives and successfully integrating back into society – reducing reoffending rates in the process.

The Story

Lee said: “This last year has been the best that prison life can be. Novus teachers are giving me positive feedback, I have developed trust with the staff, and can follow instructions built upon constructive comments from them.

“When I was younger I never wanted to work for an employer, but now I am motivated. I care about things – it is important to keep down a job and stay out of prison.”

Now I know that if you don’t have education and employability skills, no employer wants you. Through this journey I have become proud again.


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