Wayne was in his thirties, on a long sentence in Chelmsford Prison when he and Jackie met. He certainly stood out with his rainbow coloured Mohican hairstyle! He knew he would not be released for a long time, but impressed Jackie with his calm demeanour when he came and asked about her project. Jackie’s enthusiasm bowled him over and he offered to help. Literate himself, he recognised how important it was to help others learn.
“I wanted to be able to help other people
with learning problems. This approach was
different from how I had learnt at school.”
Jackie trained him to be a peer-mentor and he did a grand job of helping and supporting prisoners with learning difficulties. He demonstrated great patience in listening to his fellow-offenders’ stories, boosting their confidence and enabling them to make good progress.
“I learned how to spot people with hidden disabilities
and to teach in different ways.
It was rewarding for me to help other people.”
When Jackie decided to train some of the mentors to be adult literacy tutors, Wayne was an obvious candidate. He gained that qualification and soon transferred to another prison, with Colin and Phil, to extend Jackie’s project.
“I got transferred to Wayland Prison to start the project there.”
Because of his good conduct and respectful attitude, as well as his valuable help to others, Wayne was released early and immediately started to use the skills he had learnt from Jackie to do some voluntary work. Then he gained employment as an adult literacy tutor, where he used his qualification to great effect, and met someone who would give him a greater sense of purpose and stability. Now Wayne has a new partner and a new life. He hasn’t reoffended in the past seven years and intends to keep it that way.