I have been privileged to work in partnership with HMP prison service for over twenty years, and have taught staff from 128 UK prisons! My respect for them, and our prison system knows no bounds.
So it is hardly surprising that I am thrilled with our new “Well being” coaches at HMP Holme House!
These are designated prisoners who are committed to recovery, helping themselves but more particularly helping their peers.
They have been working hard with me, the wonderful Sammy and the two “Rachaels” to create this new initiative, and I am SO proud of them.
They have learned all of the theory that the practitioner staff learn, an understanding of the power of the human brain, and what happens to it when things go awry, and many tips and tools to help with anxiety, sleep, panic, cravings etc.
They are able to support the staff who are trained, and also able to explain to their peers the benefits of this different approach to recovery, or “restoration” as we prefer to call it!
Some of the men are not yet ready to take on this role, but none the less, are able to learn the theories behind it so that they are more aware.
We now have twelve active and dedicated coaches in HMP Holme House, and are training many more!
I must not also forget the other committed Governor, staff and management who have embraced this new approach, and made it possible. They continue to be a great support to me, and the men, and our shared work.
Twenty years ago when I first began a partnership with our prison service, I could never have imagined where we are now, I really have to pinch myself! That is largely due to many forward thinking and dedicated people who in turn teach me so much.