App of the month - Steven - Science, Technology and Maths Access course

All I ask is that you give me this opportunity to better myself and help me towards a better life, not one that consists of life and death moments or prison. I am nearly 40 years old and, for the first time in 20 years, I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Stephen wrote from Forest Bank prison applying for an OU Access course in Science, Maths and Technology.

To whom this may concern,

My name is Stephen. I am, unfortunately, a resident at HMP Forest Bank. Through a series of wrong life choices I have found myself a prisoner and, for the first time in a long while, I find myself believing I can have the life I want for myself and that life includes getting a degree in Engineering Design.

I know this is difficult and I will have to make up a few modules, such as Environment and Development as well as two Mathematics modules, to get on the course I wish to do, but I know I can do this. I have never been more focused than I am right now. Thanks to the educational department, the drug care team and the excellent support that Forest Bank offers its inmates, I know this is the path I need my life to be on.

I have always been good with my hands and, although I make a very good student, I have never been very happy, leading me down the wrong path, stripping me of myself worth and causing me depression, as well as catching a blood born virus. Drugs have destroyed my life!

Now, for the first time, I am clean of illicit drugs and now I believe I, too, can have a better life. Spending the next year of my life here, at Forest Bank, I can’t think of a better way to spend my spare time. I am working within the prison, but I have enough time to complete all programmes and courses the prison teams have in store for me and I’m looking forward to having these commitments.

All I ask is that you give me this opportunity to better myself and help me towards a better life, not one that consists of life and death moments or prison. I am nearly 40 years old and, for the first time in 20 years, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. For this I thank HMP Forest Bank for their commitment in helping me, and I thank you for your time taken while reading this letter.

Thank you,

Stephen

Access courses, provided by the Open University (OU) and funded by PET, help prepare students for an undergraduate qualification by improving study skills and giving a taste of various subject areas. PET offers people in prison the chance to study one of three areas: Science, Technology and Maths; People and Society and Arts and Languages.

PET funds 2,200 courses for people in prison. You can help people like Stephen by donating here.