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									Bobbie – video transcript




Bobbie – video transcript

Bobbie
Before I went into prison about 5 years previously, I was in a violent
relationship, I had some really bad experiences in that time and I was lucky to
survive it really.

It caused me to get very depressed when I was trying to kind of get out of the
relationship and I couldn’t get out of the relationship. I was drinking a lot. I was
going out, I was doing stupid things. One night I decided to drink and drive
where I caused a lot of damage. I had a car crash and really injured my friend
quite badly who was in the back of the car. So that led me to have a jail
sentence of three months.

While I was in prison a man called Ormond from Ex-Cell Solutions came to
see me and he said he had a possible vacancy doing some accountancy
because I’d done a bit of that in college previously, a few years before.

Well, on a Monday I went to see Ormond at Ex-Cell and he told me that the
accounting job had fallen through. But he and Dave met; they wanted to offer
me an admin position at Ex-Cell.


Dave
Ex-Cell provides one-to-one support and access to accommodation and
employment for ex-prisoners and ex-offenders in the community.

The two areas where we are probably different from most agencies that work
with ex-offenders are, number one, we take very much an individual one-to
one approach. People we work with, we don’t see as clients or service users
and us as a service provider. It’s a family Ex-Cell; it’s not a criminal justice
agency. As I said, we’re all in it together. And then the second area where
we’re different from most agencies working in the criminal justice system is
that this cooperative approach that we take increasingly emphasising,
encouraging ex-offenders to create their own employment through developing
their own cooperative businesses.

We first met Bobbie about a year, 18 months ago, just before she was
released from Style Women’s Prison. We appointed a volunteer support
worker for her through the community chaplaincy, who made arrangements
that she’d have somewhere to live when she was released. And we provided
employment for her with ourselves.




www.dwp.gov.uk/social-justice                                            April 2012
Bobbie – video transcript



Bobbie
And they took me on for six months. After the six months they offered me full
time employment and since then I’ve not looked back. It’s been ongoing
support; Ormond and Dave have been there every step of the way. They’ve
offered me financial support like doing my budgeting and stuff like that.
Exactly a year after I got out of prison on 25th of June, I signed for my flat,
which I said it’s a sign, that wasn’t just a coincidence. I’m really buzzing with
my flat, I love it to bits. And they’re still helping me now with support with the
furniture and stuff like that.

I’m speaking to all of my sisters now. My main important one was my dad. My
dad fell out with me. My dad brought me up so obviously when he fell out with
me it absolutely crippled me. That was my main issue when I was in prison
that I didn’t have my dad to go out to. Now we’re like best friends again, I love
him to bits.

And like I said I’ve become a mentor now, so I’ll have a chat with some of the
girls that come out and try and give them a bit of the hope and guidance that I
was given when I got out of jail. You know you can never tell somebody that
it’s going to be alright because it might not be. But you can try and give them
hope that it will be.

I never thought I’d get to this point, it’s brilliant.


End slide
Ex-Cell is a cooperative that works closely with local agencies to find
accommodation and paid work placements for homeless ex-offenders upon
their release.

Ex-Cell also provides mentors who offer support with sustaining a job,
accommodation and rebuilding family relationships.

“I want to share my experiences and give those women the same hope that
was given to me. That’s the key thing about Ex-Cell, we’re all there for each
other like a big family”.




www.dwp.gov.uk/social-justice                                           April 2012

								
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