Ex-prisoner from Portsmouth’s Great South Run

22 Oct 2014

A 30 year old ex-prisoner from Portsmouth is preparing for the ten mile race to raise funds for PET, the charity that helped him during his sentence, on Sunday 26th October 2014.

Simon will be joining 25,000 people taking to the streets of Portsmouth for the Bupa Great South Run. With a fundraising target of £200 Simon’s goal is to raise funds to help other prisoners get an education.

“PET provides an invaluable service to people who want to turn their lives around. Studying in prison helped me to find work after release. I needed to keep my mind and body active, as well as doing several different courses and volunteering jobs in the prison, I also ran every day. When PET asked me to represent its alumni in the Great South Run I jumped at the chance to give something back,” says Simon.

Whilst in prison PET funded Simon to study book keeping courses and he went on to complete a wiring course offered by the prison which have helped him in his new career as a self-employed electrician.

Simon added:

“The Wiring Level 3 NVQ taught me practical skills which help me in my work as an electrician. Courses at level three like the wiring and booking keeping courses I did are tragically not widely available in prison and PET is the only charity working nationally to fill that gap. I’m taking part in the race to raise funds for PET so it can support more men and women in prison by giving them the educational opportunities they need to change their lives.”

Rod Clark, Chief Executive, Prisoners’ Education Trust, who will also be taking part in the run, said:

“We’re delighted to have one of our alumni taking on this challenge. This year PET aims to help more prisoners than ever before and all proceeds raised from the Great South Run will assist people who want to study with access to vital courses, books and course materials which would otherwise be unavailable to them. Please support and encourage Simon: your donation will really make a difference.

“We know that learning in prison works. The Government’s own analysis of our work shows it reduces reoffending by more than a quarter. Facts such as these reinforce our belief that education is crucial to the rehabilitation of men and women in prison.”

To help Simon achieve his target of funding educational courses for prisoners, sponsor him and find out about PET’s other supporters by visiting www.justgiving.com/petrust

To find out more about Prisoners’ Education Trust visit www.prisonerseducation.org.uk or to fundraise for us email event@prisonerseducation.org.uk.

About Us

Since 1989, Prisoners’ Education Trust (PET) has supported prisoners to engage in rehabilitation through learning. The charity does this by providing advice and funding for approximately 2,000 people per year for distance learning courses in subjects and levels not generally available in prisons. PET also carries out research, informed by prisoner learners, to improve prison education policies.

Editor’s Notes

Simon cannot be fully identified please use first name only. For phone interview requests with Simon or PET staff, ex-prisoners’ case studies, stock prison photos or further information please contact Hannah Richards, Fundraising and Communications Officer, hannah@prisonerseducation.org.uk; 020 8648 7760 www.prisonerseducation.org.uk

A recent report was carried out by the MoJ Justice Data Lab, published in January 2014 which shows people supported by PET to study distance learning courses in prison are more than a quarter less likely to reoffend than a matched control group of other ex-prisoners.