Celebrating and promoting the best in UK prisons, probation and youth justice
COMMENDEE 2012-13: Former Work Skills Tutor: for contributions to improving the post release employment opportunities of women prisoners.
Lizzy Jackson ran a work skills course at HMP and YOI Bronzefield, helping women to find training or employment on release. It was her truly inspirational qualities in this role that earned her a Butler Trust Commendation.
With hard work and determination she responded to the women’s different needs, developing courses that include workshops for specific skills and one-to-one tutorials to help them search for jobs and training in their release areas. Working with external agencies, she helped them with their transition back to society, nurturing the more vulnerable clients, such as those needing extra help with literacy.
‘Lizzy has made us feel accepted, and not rejected… she has given us the courage to be what we are’, said one offender.
Another commented: ‘I am constantly amazed at her genuine affection for the women at Bronzefield. She always goes the extra mile to ensure she helps you get the information you need to assist in your rehabilitation here in prison and once you get home. She is greatly admired by the women who attend her classes and they always show her immense respect.’
‘She sees her work as a true vocation, and she excels in what she does’, said another. ‘I have never in all my years, even on the outside, met someone so passionate about their career and what they can achieve for others.’
With her empathy and commitment, Lizzy succeeded in bringing out the best qualities in people, helping them to believe in themselves. She gave her own time to a variety of projects and creative activities, including spending her evenings helping prisoners to learn scripts for a drama production.
She was committed to further breaking down the barriers between ex offenders and employers, devising programmes for potential employers to visit the establishment and talk to women who were ready to work. Employers began to see the women as potential employees, rather than people with a criminal record and the women themselves began to believe that, even with a criminal record, they had a chance of finding gainful employment and rejoining society.
For more information: contact HMP/YOI Bronzefield