21 June 2023
PET has been able to provide distance learning courses, information, advice and guidance to 34 veterans in prison thanks to a generous three-year grant from the Veterans’ Foundation.
In the final year of the £16,140 grant – which started in July 2020 – eleven learners have studied courses including Project Management, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, and Health and Safety.
Dan, an army veteran, works as a mentor and tutor in prison and was keen to build on his skills and experience to find work in a prison education department. He wrote:
This Teaching English as a Foreign Language course has already been hugely beneficial to me in my education and personal development.
He continued: “Doing this course will benefit others in the future; as I achieve ‘C’ category status I would expect to be used… in foreign national prisons or other detention centres, helping to teach English to speakers of other languages.”
Other learners supported by the Veterans’ Foundation detailed a wide range of motivations for studying. Graham, who served in the Royal Navy, is studying a Principles of Management certificate. He wrote:
I aim to find employment upon release, and explore options of being self-employed in Logistics. I also aim to inspire my daughter to continued study to be successful in life.
In a postcard he sent to us after beginning his studies, Graham wrote: “I am very pleased with my progress so far.” He hopes that his course will complement further study he aims to complete with PET while in prison, including an advanced Business Management and Leadership qualification, as well as degree-level study through the Open University.
Graham added: “This course will also help to increase my confidence, which in turn will be good for my mental health. It will also demonstrate to myself and other family my desire to learn.”
Support from organisations like the Veterans’ Foundation is essential in helping us give life-changing learning opportunities to people in prison – letting them look ahead to a brighter future of employment, higher self-esteem, and improved family relationships.
Learner names have been changed.
© Prisoners' Education Trust 2023