23 July 2020
Phil reflects back on his time in prison and tells us about his journey from a successful business person to being sentenced to four years in prison, in his own words, “it was absolute despair, the closest thing to an apocalypse I could ever describe”.
Phil talked about how when he first arrived in prison, in a closed facility, he felt frustrated. It was participating in the Sycamore Tree programme that helped Phil to come to terms with his past and begin to work on his own personal development. He set a new target, to help his fellow prisoners in any way he could.
Moving to HMP Springhill, an open prison, was a big turning point for Phil.
Moving to HMP Springhill, an open prison, was a big turning point for Phil. He thinks back to the emotions he felt at being able to spend long periods outside amongst nature again: an opportunity most take for granted. At Springhill Phil thrived and was able to pursue his goal of helping other prisoners.
When Springhill’s careers advice service had its funding cut, Phil approached the governor asking to establish his own employment guidance service within the prison. Taking a chance on the new idea, prison governor Dr. Jamie Bennett offered Phil a small onsite office with a desk, computer and a printer. There, Phil was able to help 512 of his fellow inmates with assistance ranging from CV advice to interview technique development. In this webinar reflects on some of the experiences he had whilst running the office.
Phil was released in late 2019 and, since then, has been making the most of being able to spend time with his wife and five daughters. However, he has continued his great work and established Ex-seed, an employment agency for ex-prisoners, and has written three books.
To hear more from the Webinar series check out our SoundCloud.
© Prisoner Learning Alliance 2021