Graham and the ladies have just left us and what an amazing day. As a school we were blown away by the workshops today that all the students accessed. The girls were so brave and their delivery of personal stories was something to be proud of as I’m sure it’s not easy talking about the sensitive details of their lives.
The students loved it and a lot of them returned for more than one session. Park view school, South Shields definitely gained a lot of knowledge linked to prison and laws today and thank you so much for the opportunity of using Prison Me No Way to get these powerful messages across, it really was an outstanding day that will be remembered for a long time.
Teacher- Park View School
I felt compelled to write to you regarding yesterday’s amazing workshops, which engrossed our Year 9 pupils.
It is often very difficult to include interesting life-skills work within the timetables but you, together with your professional team, sustained the interest of all our pupils for several hours. Each time we changed workshop, i secretly thought that what was to come could not be as good as the previous presentation. I was wrong! There was no weak link: pupils were engaged whether it was by boisterous involvement in the ‘Street Scene’ or simply demonstrating their empathy and understanding by the questions they asked in the AA workshop.
Your staff continued to stimulate and enthuse by using a variety of different approaches and techniques. The diversity of topics, coupled with each very individual presentation, effectively conveyed messages that are essential for our pupils to learn. The inclusion of the three ladies who joined us in ‘Choices and Consequences’ was emotive but also an inspired approach to that particular workshop.
Thank you so much for an inspirational day. My form class loved every minute and, i am sure, learned several valuable lessons from their day.
Teacher- Consett Academy- 30th November 2017
Without fail every teacher at Consett Academy involved was very complimentary of the day and Mr Elsender, Year 9 Achievement Leader, said it was the best ‘Inspire Day’ he had ever been involved in. The Head of Year 9, Mrs Parker said “I would just like to thank everyone for an amazing day. I feel all pupils gained something today that will hopefully make them think twice about their actions. Personally, I was moved by the honesty and open way that the three ladies told their stories. What an impact! Well done again for spending the day with us and spreading your knowledge to my year group. Brilliant!”
Teacher- Consett Academy- 30th November 2017
Cell Van/ Prison Life:
The two funny, charismatic and intriguing ex prison guards delivered a very fun and interesting session which I found really insightful to see how prisoners lived their sentences and how the general environment was, coming from people who had actually witnessed it. This session, I think was helpful to see how many things could happen or go wrong in prison and also the benefits, however few, that could also come out of it. It was so informative and made us see how much we didn’t want to go to prison due to the environments that we were told about. This was definitely a valuable experience, additionally seeing what a prison cell looked like, which was very personal and made you see how being cooped up would feel like for perhaps your entire life. The questions asked were answered brilliantly as well.
Again, the people delivering the session were really friendly, they taught us different types and facts about domestic abuse which was really interesting to hear about, despite the upsetting side of it. It was clear at the end how perpetrators can be very hard to spot and extremely manipulative. It was good how they kept asking our views and opinions which made the session engaging and enjoyable to take part in. Some statistics were surprising and goes to show what some things can be lead to on both sides of a relationship.
Jamie - Pupil - The Hayling College
I honestly feel like it was a perfect day. Just don’t stop this programme ever, as it was so useful.
Pupil- St Angela's Secondary School, London
Helped to understand that we are always anti-social but to make sure that you don’t disturb other people and do things illegally trying to make yourselves look cool in front of your friends because it will lead to trouble.
I spoke to my mum and dad and I said how fortunate I am to have had a school like Huxlow who brings in workshops for us so we can understand the reality of prison and law also I told them about the ex-prisoner and choices/prisoner because I now know I take things for granted when I shouldn’t.
Everything in the day was really good and you really made it interactive with us and made us look at perspectives we didn’t think we would ever look at. I give you 10/10 and I hope you carry on showing young people like us these amazing workshops.
Pupil: Huxlow Science College, Northamptonshire:
This is the second time we have hosted PMNW, again it has been a tremendously successful day. By that I mean the boys have been educated, interested and for some touched by what they have experienced. One boy who regularly finds himself in bother has commented on his feedback form I need to behave and get the most out of school, something a hundred “telling offs” has not managed to communicate. FANTASTIC.
Teacher: Audenshaw School, Manchester:
I would just like to say that I thought the day was one of the best workshops in my 17 years at Cockburn that I have ever been involved in.
Street Scene Workshop-
Valuable insight of the simple origins of criminal behaviour. Valuable insight of the consequences of pupils actions. Pupils were fully engaged and interacted very well with the presentation.
Teacher- Bishop Challenor
Prison Life Workshop-
Excellent delivery. Very informative and very straight forward. Left pupils asking questions and interest of career for themselves.
Teacher- St John Wall
Very Valuable. The students have all seriously considered the affects of alcohol and were all very interested by the session. Thank you.
It was really valuable for students to have the opportunity to hear someone speak so honestly.
Teacher- Arthur Mellows Village
Thank you for coming to Park View to teach me about prison. It really inspired me to be good because I don’t want to go to prison. We would like to see you again so we can find out more about prison and how it is for young people. Recently I have been making wrong decisions that could lead to juvenile prison if I continued going the way I was. I really enjoyed the talk you had with us at Park View School and would like to see you again. You made me feel like I can change and have a better life, thank you for that.
See you next time you are in school.
Oliver- Pupil-Park View School
Social Media- Excellent knowledge and way of explaining to the children without causing worries or anxiety. Great manner and very helpful. Fab presentation.
Miss Richardson- Teacher- Adswood Primary School
The Day was an amazing success and the praise has come thick and fast from students. I thought it was excellent in ALL aspects and I very much hope we can do the same next year.
Mr McMahon- Teacher (Belmont Shool)
Network Rail- I learnt about the hidden dangers on railway lines, such as electrical rails and fast moving trails etc. This gave me an idea on why there are so many restrictions and fines in place.
Fire service- I learnt about the impact that a hoax call can have on how the fire service functions.
Prison Life- I found out how uncomfortable prison life really is and heard about the kind of person you would be sharing a cell with. I REALLY don’t want to go to prison now.
Whilst having a past experience with people bringing BB guns out, i have learnt the risks of having a knife or gun in my possession. Police have a split second to establish whether your gun is real or not, therefore, you could be shot on site. I have also learnt that if you are carrying a knife in your bag and it is easily accessible, police will arrest you. Although, if you are transporting a knife for a good reason and it is tucked away and wrapped up, you wont get arrested and the police will let you go. Also, what is quite important with carrying a knife for safety, 3 of 5 knife wounds or even deaths are inflicted from owned property. As it is quite easily snatched and used against you.
Harry-Pupil, Clacton County High School, 16th March 2017
Just wanted to say thanks again for your talk to our students today. I honestly thought it was the best external educational session I’ve seen over 17 years of teaching so far. The impact, timing and relevance was huge. Clearly there were some students today who were living in a more risky environment in terms of leading to behaviour that might see them end up in prison. I think they will have been influenced immediately by your work with Rev. It was very powerfully yet sensitively delivered. Your message was captivating.
Most of our students probably don’t see themselves potentially ending up in prison (and thankfully that’s likely the case for most) but I thought your emphasis on life decisions was a potent message that engaged everyone, including myself. Spice (and the like) and marijuana is a big issue in our college and some of the students today are amongst this and have decisions to make about who they mix with and what they choose to do. Believe it or not, we have a couple students on our course that could potentially lead others down the wrong path. It’s something I’m really concerned about personally. Similarly, the story about ending up in prison for making decisions like texting at the wheel or getting involved in gang activities (even on the fringes) was compelling. You really made an impact today! I’m going to try my best to drive your message home with a few of them.
Your delivery was extremely professional and I was surprised to hear you say you’d only been out of prison for 15 weeks. It seems you had been doing it for ages. Your relaxed, honest and humorous (well timed) talk was really engaging. You had the students in the palm of your hand. Indeed a few of the students are interested in criminology and your talk really illustrated the human side of the theory they might have studied at college. The real stories behind something they might read about. Your personal story is inspiring in terms of overcoming adversity and your consciousness of how it impacted others around you.
I hope you don’t mind this feedback. I strongly believe in giving credit where it’s due and think you have a great deal to offer young people. I really hope to see you and Rev working with our students in the future. You were a great team and seemed to bounce really well off each other. Please pass on my utmost thanks to Rev also. He was superb too. Brilliantly engaging, informative and charismatic. Thanks on behalf of the college, the students and the students’ parents; your efforts are much appreciated.
Allen- Teacher: Hillsborough College
I just wanted to send a quick email to thank your team for the amazing afternoon that they provided for the staff and students at my school on Tuesday 28th February earlier this week. We had talks from Barry, Clifton and Rev and they were so inspirational and really opened the students eyes to the world of crime. We had them in as our students are studying crime and punishment as part of their RE GCSE and it really brought their learning to life. Clifton was superb! The students are still talking about him and asking questions about his story. He was humble and so honest with his words and the students appreciated the way he told his story in such a personable way. Rev and Barry were brilliant, they spoke with great humor yet highlighted the seriousness of the topics they covered. The cell van was great and gave the students the first hand experience that they needed.
I will 100% look at getting PMNW back into our school wherever possible. Please pass on my thanks to the three men, they have made many staff and students very happy and it has helped to engage some of our troubled boys with their learning again.
I can’t thank you enough.
Kirsty White- Teacher, St. Bernards School, Rotherham- 28th February
Choices/Prisoner Workshop – “This workshop was so brilliant that i wanted to do it again and i think everyone was engaged in this workshop. So there was this man called Anthony and he told us about his life as a child to his adult ages to 22, and he told us something which changed my attitude to life and education. “Education is the key to success” when i heard these words it blew my mind and i learnt that if you make good or bad choices, it can and it will affect our future. I really enjoyed this workshop.”
Street Scene – “When we went to this workshop it was amazing because we had so much fun and we participated in this activity. I really enjoyed this man who was making it so much fun with a bit of comedy. His name was Ollie and he was so kind and funny. He told us everything on what might happen if you have alcohol at a really young age and disturbing other people around your area. It was a way of seeing if we understood what was happening and it was a truly amazing experience to us and we all enjoyed it.”
Marjana, Year 7 pupil, Bedford Academy (25th November 2016)
Prison Cell workshop – this was very good as it lets us not only see what a cell looks but what it would be like to eat/sleep and drink in a cell. It showed me how hard it is in prison. But more time should be given to come up with questions and maybe have a mini quiz of what was in the room back in the classroom to see who was paying attention.
Sohpie, Year 9, William Allitt School 23.1.2017
” STREETSCENE, we learnt that even though you think what youre doing is okay theres a chance theres alot of things wrong . Also that if you wouldnt do it infront o your mum or you wouldnt want to your mum to see you doing it then you shouldnt do it . CEOP -we learnt that its fine to talk to people on the internet just dont trust them or give out personal information because they could use it against you. “
Ellie-Mae (3-4-2016, Pupil)
I’ve been given your contact email address by The Prison Me No Way Tea – I just wanted to pass on some feedback about the day and how we have found it over the years.
It seems to me that days like the one provided by the No Way Trust really are priceless. We have hosted the day for a few years now and it remains an extremely engaging and impactful day, and a unique one – I don’t believe our pupils could get the kind of information and experience on offer with the day in any other way. It also reflects and supports our number one duty as a school – above all else (results, curriculum etc) our primary focus is the safeguarding of the young people in our care.
The impact it has is fulsome. From pupil questionnaires and from talking to pupils, they speak of the day very highly and say that it stays with them for a long time. Older pupils always remember the day from previous years and can recall information, workshop leaders and memories from the day they experienced.
Various pieces of follow up work occur in the curriculum after the day – in PSHE, Geography, Re and Performing Arts. There is no better teaching stimulus than real life. We enjoy the way that the day busts myths about prison life, makes very clear the risks and facts about up to date and highly relevant law and order issues, raises awareness about legal processes and confronts stereotypes of prisoners and those that have committed crime.
The workshop leaders are highly engaging, full of humour and convey a real sense of some unwavering, uncompromising aspects of law and order – the reality of life in prisons and of crime. As someone who has co-ordinated the day on behalf of the school, I’d also like to add how easy it is to organise – the whole package is managed very well by the Prison Me No Way team who co-ordinate with us with a thoroughness and detail which makes hosting the event, to be honest, a breeze.
All in all, an extremely valued and important day in our enrichment programme.
Nick (Hollingworth Academy)
“I just wanted to contact you to say a massive ‘Thank You’ from all the staff and pupils at Northcott, who have experienced Prison Me No-Way! today. Both Rev and Graham were fantastic with the pupils and adapted their presentation for each class, to ensure they met their needs. Both men went out of their way to enable all pupils to access the presentations. The pupils at Northcott School have social interaction and communication difficulties, therefore it was a pleasure and privilege to see what Rev and Graham achieved with the pupils during the sessions. Staff have commented on the ‘social’ achievements of the pupils, testament to how fabulous Rev and Graham were with our pupils.”
Beth Lane (9-5-2016, Assistant Head Teacher -Northcott Special School, Hull)
CellVan/Prison Workshop thoughts: it was very stinky and the way that people said yes about going into the cell van and they were all said that they would never go in there ever again
Q have you talked to your family and friend? yes i said that they should have seen it it was the best thing that i have ever seen in my life i would love to do it again and again and again
Reece (Ormiston School Year 8)
Drugs Workshop: it taught me to not touch drugs
Street Scene: it taught me not to drink at a young age and not b disrespectful
Cell Van/Prison: this was very good because we felt what it would be like in jail but taught to never go in to prison
Q Would you change anything? nothing it was marvelous and extraordinary