Second Chance for Oakwood Prison Participant

“To be treated without judgement says a lot about the BRIDGES project I am a part of”

The noise of that door opening for the last time is something I will not forget. Prior to this I often wondered, what the world had in store for me when I left Oakwood after my time there. Then before my release, I met with the BRIDGES team from Access to Business and was given some evidence from their presentation of the challenges faced by people seeking employment, following release from prison.

Self-employment was never something I had thought about until that moment and here was Access to business telling me it’s possible. For those few weeks before my release, I was going to bed knowing I could come out and start afresh with support from BRIDGES.

On my release date, I had plans. Firstly; catch up with family then secondly contact BRIDGES and make them aware I wanted to explore self-employment. I did this and signed up to the programme, where I have a business advisor supporting me along with attending workshops that will focus on Business Planning, Marketing and Finance. This will enable me to put the information and knowledge into practice. One month in I have now attended some workshops, while at home I am completing my business plan to enable me to look at going self-employed.