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PMNW – My story

Ian Williams (Taff)

I grew up in a small town called Tonyrefail in South Wales. One of three brothers, one my twin.

I am married to Ceri and we have a son, daughter, their partners and a handsome little 17-month-old grandson, who lights up our lives.

A random fact a lot of people may not know {or believe} about me is. I ran the London Marathon in 2009 and 2010 – 4h 13m 54sec and 4h 8m 54sec….

Ceri and I were married in June 1987 and I Joined the prison service in the July at HMP Cardiff. Thankfully just before the reform known as “fresh Start” which meant I was one of the last to have a retirement age of 55 years old.

During my service I worked at various establishments including HMRC Pucklechurch near Bristol, HMP Cardiff, HMYOI Usk, HMP & YOI Hatfield and HMP & YOI Moorland.

I did some detached duty at various establishments including HMP Newhall women’s prison.

I volunteered for the trust for several years. Taking residents from HMP & YOI Hatfield to crime and safety awareness days until I transferred to HMP & YOI Moorland in 2007, when due to work commitments and a family illness it became more difficult for me to commit the time.

I enjoyed my time in the service, but with recent changes and staff cuts It became more difficult to do the job I had enjoyed for so long.

I took the opportunity to apply for my retirement on my 55th birthday. Saturday 10th March 2018.

Shortly after making the decision to retire, I was invited to meet up with Paul Wilkinson to discuss working with the trust. We agreed that it would be worth me attending a few crime and safety awareness days and presentations during March with a view to starting with the trust in the April if all went well.

It was good to meet up with the team, some of which I knew from my earlier days as a volunteer. Everyone I have met and worked with has been so welcoming and supportive.

Making the decision to retire from the prison service after such a long time wasn’t easy and I did have real doubts. But from my first meeting with Paul to working with the rest of the team and meeting the staff in the office. It felt like the right thing to do. I can honestly say that I have not regretted the decision.

Working with young people all over the country can be challenging, but it is so rewarding. Even after some of the more challenging of days, I get such a buzz. To see the young people engaging in all the workshops is great. You can sometimes see attitudes change for the better during the sessions. To have a young person approach you to say how much they enjoyed your workshop is overwhelming. Then to get positive verbal and written feedback from the young people and the teaching staff gives you a massive boost. I really feel that I am helping to make a difference.

As Hatfield liaison for the trust I regularly work with the prisoners who volunteer to work with us. I have seen the positive effect working with the young people has had on them. It can be a life changing experience for them.

Working with the No Way Trust, I feel I have regained a sense of value and worth. Something I had lost in my last few years in the prison service.

It’s nice to feel that by working with the trust, I am helping to make a positive difference to the society we live in.

Taff