Courtney's story - a visitors' centre volunteer

I started my journey with Nepacs while studying a Crime and Investigation degree in 2017. I wanted to gain an insight to what prison life was like and to understand the effects custodial sentences have on families of offenders. I also wanted some hands on experience with working within the prison environment so when the time came I had the necessary skills to go for my chosen career path.

When I first started volunteering in Durham Visitors' Centre I instantly knew this was the right decision; it was a fast paced working environment which meant you were always kept busy. The staff were willing to take time from their duties to teach you new roles and help you inside the workplace. During my time volunteering I also attended the listening skills, Hidden Sentence and Connect 5 training programmes, which have all taught me new things that I have not had the opportunity to cover academically.

I developed many curtail skills as a volunteer, and I was then given the opportunity to have part time hours as a support/catering worker for Nepacs. This has then led me to another exciting job opportunity as a Resettlement worker with Changing Lives. I have always been passionate about the rehabilitation of offenders and reducing re-offending, so this is a big achievement in my career. 

It’s thanks to all the opportunities I had at Nepacs that led me to obtaining this new role. I have really enjoyed all of my time working for Nepacs, and I admire all the hard work they all do to make a difficult situation better! I will be forever thankful for the great experience I have gained, and the new friends I have made for life.