Sarah: Working in her dream job
Sarah*, 31, has been living in her own flat and working full time since she left prison in December 2013 having gained a Book keeping distance learning course, ICT qualifications and an Open University course in Business and Accountancy. “I wouldn’t be doing the job I’m doing now if it wasn’t for the qualifications I gained in prison, thanks to Prisoners' Education Trust”, she says.
She began working in her current job before she left prison under the release on temporary license scheme (ROTL). After getting up at 6am every day, doing a full day at work, she would remain in the office to complete her degree modules because she couldn’t access the internet inside prison. She also used the ROTL scheme to go to college. Sarah says:
“My work place was so impressed with my work and additional studying that they kept me on after I was released.”
Sarah wasn’t just self-disciplined in her own studies, she also helped other women with learning both as a numeracy classroom assistant and informally supporting peers to write CVs and do interview preparation. Sarah acts as a role model to other women, demonstrating what can be achieved through her own hard work and determination.
Sarah says: “I knew that having a criminal record would hinder me when trying to get employment, but I wanted to give myself the best chance possible.”
Sarah was also supported by the charity Women in Prison who helped her gain her job placement. The ROTL scheme helped Sarah resettle back into society as she was able to save enough money from work to pay a deposit on her own flat after leaving prison.
*Sarah is not her real name.