Norman is a former resident of HMP Brixton. Now back in the community, he reflects on how challenging situations force us to think, something we don’t always have time to do.
Just one year after release from prison he’s running his own soft drinks business. In this article he shares his top tips for prison leavers and anyone struggling to find motivation at this time.
- Embrace the help available from your local Jobcentre Work Coaches or anyone spurring you on
- Find out about all of the support networks available to you depending on your circumstances. The Bounce Back website really helped me. The Recycling Lives website also offers support to ex-offenders. The Nacro website has a list of organisations that actively help people with criminal convictions to find permanent jobs, apprenticeships and work placements. There’s lots of support available to help you get into work
- Keep moving forward and understand rejection – it will happen but it’s not exclusive to you or personal
- Don’t stop at no. Keep knocking on doors. Learn how to turn it into a yes. Ask again – just in a different way
- Keep a positive mindset – not “how will I cope?” but “how well will I cope”.
- Ask yourself how you can transfer what you learnt inside to life outside – it will be a life skill
- Develop your own sense of hope. There is a serious shortage of hope in prison but create one and focus on how you can become who you are meant to be.
As for Norman’s final piece of advice to those looking for work during difficult times, he lives by the quote of Napoleon Hill – “Failure Cannot Cope with Persistence”.