A Novus learner at HMP New Hall used her time in custody to build a brighter future for herself.
Anna's educational achievements in prison
While in prison, ‘Anna’ achieved qualifications in Level 3 Adult Education and Training, Level 2 Barista Skills, Levels 1 and 2 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 grew her confidence too.
Empowering transformation through learning
Anna is passionate about raising awareness of the importance of diverse communities and cultures - not only within the prison, but in the wider community.
Her boost in confidence has enabled her to craft and deliver sessions about Ramadan and Eid to the whole prison community.
The importance of being tolerant, supportive, and respectful of people’s individual faiths and beliefs was the focus of her sessions.
While in prison, Anna attended lectures by Dr Bill Davies and Dr Katie Dhingra from Leeds Beckett University. The lectures inspired her to look forward to her future and eventually lead her to take the plunge and apply for a degree in Criminology at the university.
After receiving written support from HMP New Hall’s Governing Governor, , Head of Learning and Skills Avtar Purewal, and Novus Learning Support Team Leader and prison tutor Karen Grant, Anna was accepted onto 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 many doors of success for me.
My self-motivation and confidence were drawn up from inside the four walls; building a positive picture of myself and my future.”
Prison education as a catalyst for positive change
Beyond personal development, the ripple effect of prison education extends to the entire community.
Equipping individuals like Anna with industry training and skills enhances their chances of successful reintegration into society and reduces the likelihood of recidivism.
This not only benefits ex-offenders on an individual basis but contributes to building safer and more resilient communities.
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.”
The positive impact of prison education on women, exemplified by success stories like Anna's, highlights the potential for profound change. Through targeted educational programs, Novus empowers women to envision a future beyond their current circumstances.
And for us, it’s infinitely rewarding to witness the transformative effect that education has on the lives of our female residents.
I now feel I will succeed and secure a positive prosperous future for myself.