The National Lottery Community Fund supports PET to reach more learners

Home > The National Lottery Community Fund supports PET to reach more learners

17 October 2023

PET Learner on wing

Prisoners’ Education Trust (PET) has been awarded a three-year grant by The National Lottery Community Fund (TNLCF) – the largest community funder in the UK – to reach and support more learners in prison.

With support from TNLCF, over the next three years we will work to ensure our services reach more of the diverse communities that make up the prison population.

Our data suggests that some communities and groups may be underrepresented in the support that PET provides. As part of the TNLCF project, we will speak to people from these groups and communities to understand what barriers they face accessing our support and find out how we can break these down.

The grant will also support us to ensure that people who begin courses get the help they need to complete them, including helping people who stop their studies to start again. Part of this work will be to help people use the full range of PET’s services, including our Advice Line and Information, Advice and Guidance support.

The project will be grounded in the reality of learners’ experiences and reflect the significant challenges people face in prison post-pandemic. Throughout the three years, we will share what we learn through blogs, articles and other resources on our website. Read the first blog here.

The knowledge and expertise of people who have been in prison are central to achieving our aims.

Dalton, a member of PET’s Alumni Group which co-wrote the successful application to TNLCF, said:

Starting an Open University Access course with PET set me on a new path. When I was released I continued collaborating with PET to help them reach underrepresented groups like myself and my partner who is a lifer.

This year I am starting my third year at university and am attending my partner’s graduation in prison. These are the lives of people in prison and what can happen with support from PET and TNLCF funding.

Adam, another member of the group, said:

I’m proud to have been a part of this project from the incubation stage and look forward to seeing things through to completion.

Clare Lloyd, PET’s Head of Service Delivery, said:

We are very grateful for this wonderful support from TNLCF. I am looking forward to working alongside people with first-hand experience of prison education; with their knowledge and experience, I know that this project will make a huge difference to people currently in prison.

Together we will find ways to introduce more people to our services and support more people to finish their PET-funded distance learning course.

Rachel Stephens, Head of Central Funding at TNLCF, added:

We’re delighted to support PET as they continue to expand their vital service. Our ambition is to invest most in places, people and communities experiencing poverty, disadvantage and discrimination – thanks to National Lottery players, this funding will open new doors among the prison population and help a wider group live healthier lives.

As part of the TNLCF project, we have recruited six Lived Experience Consultants – recognising the unique perspective and skillset of people with lived experience of prison education. One of the consultants has written about his experience here.

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