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Service Users' Voices

Transition 50+ "A course to be remembered with a real sense of pride and accomplishment"

Twelve men and good’ put their name down for the Transition 50+ Resettlement course, designed and delivered by RECOOP and targeted specifically with the over fifties in mind.  It ran over four days in February and covered a range of topics addressing Health & Wellbeing, Benefits & Budgeting, Accessing Community Services and the apparent minefield of issues, especially including an understanding of the Disclosure requirements surrounding getting back into paid work and/or volunteering.

Some were sceptical about the benefits of such a course – did we really need to know how to get a bus pass or how to re-establish links with our family?  But it soon became clear that this course was more than that.  It was a real opportunity to engage with these issues and a whole range of other matters in a discursive way, all superbly facilitated by the trainer/facilitator from RECOOP, Pauline Haynes.  Of course some issues were old hat to many of us, but not all and some issues were, as we’ve learnt during our time at Ford and elsewhere, not necessarily straightforward.  But, the opportunity to share concerns with likeminded individuals with similar worries and definitely similar hopes about life on the other side of the fence was, for even the most inured of us, incredibly satisfying and reassuring.  To learn new things, consolidate old things and see some of our perceived problems from a different perspective was brilliant.

This course will run again later in the year and I cannot recommend it more highly.  Yes, you have to be willing to engage with the class.  Yes, there will be some things that are totally irrelevant for your circumstances.  But, yes equally you will definitely go away encouraged and with a strong sense that this was time well spent – perhaps that’s not an often experienced emotion here behind the gate - but these four days can be a special exception that you will benefit from and remember with a real sense of pride and accomplishment – life through the gate will be tough but it need not be impossible and courses like this from RECOOP help keep that sense of reality in perspective. 

PL

HMP Ford

April 2018

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