Local votes could win prisons charity £3,000

15 Sep 2014

A charity helping people in prison to study a wide variety of courses has been shortlisted for the Lloyds Bank Community Fund 2014 in South London. With enough public votes, Prisoners’ Education Trust (PET) has a chance to be awarded a grant of up to £3,000 from Lloyds Bank. Visit branches in Cheam, London Raynes Park, Mitcham, Sutton and Worcester Park to give people an opportunity to lead crime-free lives.

Rod Clark, Chief Executive, Prisoners’ Education Trust, said:

“The Lloyds Bank Community Fund will give us a huge vote of confidence and make a real difference to Prisoners’ Education Trust, enabling us to help more people to turn their lives around through education and reduce their chances of reoffending. Please vote for PET and give men and women in London’s prisons an opportunity to gain skills, qualifications and experience so they can work and volunteer in our communities after they leave.”

One of our former learners, Nicolle John, originally from South London, is now holding down a full time job after she studied a counselling course with help from PET four years ago. After a difficult childhood, Nicolle got involved with a gang as a teenager, became addicted to drugs and was abused by her boyfriend. In 2007, she received an indeterminate sentence for Public Protection (IPP) and served four years in prison.

Whilst at HMP Send in Surrey, Nicolle, with support from PET, began to turn her life around. After she left prison in May 2011, Nicolle has continued studying at college, is working as a personal assistant and volunteers with charities, schools and the police in running workshops and speaking about her experiences. Most importantly, her newfound passion for education has allowed her to reconnect with her family.

“Education has brought me and my son closer together. My son’s doing very well getting all As and Bs at school. We sit together and do our homework side by side and support each other,” she says.

The Lloyds Bank Community Fund was set up to help local people across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man to have a positive impact at the heart of their community by giving grants to up to 1,400 local good causes in 350 communities.

There are four good causes shortlisted in each community and Lloyds Bank is inviting everyone to vote for the causes they’d most like to support.

Members of the public can vote for PET on-line, by SMS or Twitter using #CommFund and code TPX, or in a branch of Lloyds bank from 2 September to 10 October 2014. The local good cause that receives most votes in each community will receive an award of £3,000, with the other groups receiving £2,000, £1,000 or £500 depending on the votes received.

You can find out more about the Community Fund and PET and cast your vote by visiting the Lloyds Bank Community Fund website at: www.lloydsbank.com/communityfund.

Editor’s Notes

For further information about PET please contact Susannah Henty, Media and Public Affairs Manager susannah@prisonerseducation.org.uk; 020 8648 7760.

A recent report was carried out by the MoJ Justice Data Lab published in January 2014 which shows people supported by PET to study distance learning courses in prison are more than a quarter less likely to reoffend than a matched sample of ex-prisoners with the same characteristics.

About PET

This year Prisoners' Education Trust (PET) celebrates its 25th anniversary. The charity was set up in HMP Wandsworth by a prison teacher in 1989 who wanted to improve the range of courses available for prisoners. That year, PET helped 12 people, now the charity supports approximately 2,000 each year to study distance learning courses across England and Wales. The charity does this by providing advice and funding for prisoners keen to study subjects and levels not otherwise available in prisons. PET also carries out research, informed by prisoner learners, to improve prison education.