App of the Month – Wayne, Certificate in Counselling

Wayne wrote to PET in 2016 to apply for funding for a one-to-one counselling course. 

I feel as though the youth may listen a bit more to a man they can relate to, rather than a person who hasn’t experienced prison life.

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing to you in the hope that you may be able to provide funding for a course that I would like to study.

I am currently serving a six-year sentence. Whilst in prison I have studied and gained eight Level 1 and 2 qualifications. I am also about to begin a Peer Mentor course to add to my many achievements in prison.

The course I am applying for and would like to study is a Certificate in Counselling.

The reason I would like to take up this course is because I have a plan to give back to the community. When I was outside I used to work in the retail sector for over 18 years and thought to myself, it’s time for a change. Being in prison makes you think a lot and reflect on how you want to change your life around for the good. So I came up with a plan to become a counsellor, youth worker and volunteer to help with the youth and teenagers in deprived areas.

As a man of the age of 36 I feel I can help out with my experiences of prison life after being a working-class citizen all my life. My aim is to deter the young from ever going or ending up in prison, by sharing my story and by giving a positive light on freedom and opportunities. Also I am a well-known figure in my community because I’m a known entertainer. I feel as though the youth may listen a bit more to a man they can relate to, rather than a person who hasn’t experienced prison life.

At the moment I am acting as a Peer Mentor until I get my qualification in five weeks’ time. I do feel I have the qualities to be a good counsellor – I’m a good listener, patient, I have good awareness and am good at encouraging others, amongst other things.

I’ve been told by many friends that I am good at giving advice after listening to them for hours on the phone. This quality is one that will help in my quest to become a counsellor. I love to listen and give feedback.

I was an Assistant Manager for five years at a recently liquidated company, managing 10-12 people. My experience of managing people could help with the counselling of others, as I had to do weekly reviews on individual performances.

My short term plans are:

•    Pass the Peer Mentor course with flying colours
•    Get a place on the counselling course
•    Seek extra help to a route into counselling within the prison

My long term plans are

•    Pass my counselling course
•    Get job experience in counselling
•    Gain employment
•    Continue my creative writing (may writing short stories or a book)
•    Open my own business
•    Volunteer to help youth

Thank you for taking the trouble to consider my application.

Yours faithfully,

Wayne, HMP Ford

PET funds over 2,000 prisoners a year to complete distance learning courses up to degree level. To help a person like Wayne make the best of their time in prison and life after release visit http://www.prisonerseducation.org.uk/donate

People in prison can write to PET at FREEPOST, PRISONERS EDUCATION TRUST