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Harriet’s first Crime and Safety Awareness Day!

(16-07-15) Early start this morning as today was my first experience of a Crime and Safety Awareness Day at Woldgate College with Prison Me No Way! I arrived at the school, signed in through reception and was raring to go!

Once I had met the team behind the scenes I joined the year 10 students for the launch in the hall, this started with the Lead Organiser (Pat Tuohy) Introducing himself and the Crime And safety Awareness Day to the students. I had no idea what to expect from the day but as soon as I left the hall after watching a video of ‘Dean’s Story’ I knew this would be an experience I would never forget!

With so much excitement I rushed to my first workshop which was ‘Askham Grange’ lead by Graham Holgate from HMP Askham. He started the workshop with his experience of been a prison officer for over 28 years before introducing the ladies who he had brought out with him. Listening to their stories was so hard hitting and I didn’t fully understand how easy it is to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The whole workshop was very eye opening and made me realise how crime affects many people not just the one been convicted.

After leaving my first workshop with goose bumps I made my way to the next classroom, the story I heard was from a male from HMP Hatfield who had made many bad decisions and choices in his life. He shared his story with us prior to him been convicted and also his prison experiences. Listening to him talk about his prison routine and life inside was chilling, the stories he shared you only imagine happening on television you don’t realise this is real life for someone.

After experiencing my first two workshops break had come around and I was speechless to the experience I had just been able to be a part of. All I kept thinking in my head was ‘how naive have I been’ I could not believe that one wrong choice could change your life and your families forever!

After a good cup of tea from Linda I couldn’t stop myself getting to the next workshop early, I was just so eager to learn more! The next workshop I took part in was called Buswise, I learnt about road safety and the results of not wearing a seatbelt or a bike helmet. I also listened to a recording of a young woman who had made one poor choice in her life while driving on the road that left devastating consequences for a lot of people. It really makes you stop and think!

My next workshop I took part in was the Magistrates this was an opportunity to get the feel for what a Magistrate Court experience would be like. It was so interesting to learn the process of having to attend court and what would happen if the accused failed to attend!

Lunch time gave me the opportunity to reflect on the workshops I had taken part in and a chance to talk to the people I had met to ask further questions. I was so interested in what they were telling me I just couldn’t get enough. I was so amazed by how easy it is to find yourself on the wrong side of the law and taking part in today’s Crime Day has defiantly made me open my eyes!

After Lunch I found my way to my last workshop which was CEOP. This was about social media and how dangerous talking to people online can be. I thought this workshop was brilliant; it gave great advice and information for people to talk to if they are in doubt or worried.

As I started this story I wrote that I knew today would be an experience I would never forget and I was certainly not wrong! My first ever crime and Safety Awareness Day with Prison Me No Way has been a massive eye opener and I am so happy I was able to get involved with them as a Youth Advisory Volunteer. I am so excited to get more and more involved with the trust as they have a great deal to offer!

Bring on my next Crime Day!


Youth Advisory Team Member