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editorial Welcome to our brand new, exciting, restyled “thebridge magazine”. I am really pleased to announce that we have a new graphic designer, Andrew Perkins, who has over 30 years’ experience in the publishing and design business and who has also re-designed our Inside&Out magazine. The magazine is now much more interesting, easy and fun to look at. We have greatly enhanced your reading experience and have a far more professional look and feel. We hope you agree! Tell us what you think!

CONTACT US OR ASK A MEMBER OF STAFF

We are eager to receive your comments about the service; what you are doing to move on in life; case studies and articles; cover designs; relevant poetry, letters or cartoons etc. Come on and get your material printed in “thebridge magazine”, or even our national “Inside&Out Magazine”. This is your chance to get heard and seen. In this issue we have news about the transfer of some Probation teams to Cobden Street, the creation of the Service User Advisory Board and I give my case study about how I’ve moved on and now have my own business. Editor - Mark Clark

Samaritans 0845 7909090 0115 9411111 Rape Crisis 0808 8029999 Domestic Violence Integrated Response Project 0116 2550004 www.dvirp.co.uk ADAM Project (Male Rape) 0116 2426440 adam.project@wallaction.org.uk Alcoholics Anonymous 0845 7697555 Narcotics Anonymous 0300 9991212 Benefit Enquiry Line 0800 882200 Housing Options Leicester City Council 0116 2527008 Blaby District Council 0116 2727770 Charnwood Borough Council 0150 9634567 Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council 0145 5238141 Melton Borough Council 0166 4502502 Oadby & Wigston Borough Council 0116 2888961

contact us You can submit your articles with names or anonymously via your Offender Manager, The Health Workers, SUAB Rep, the grey post box in Cobden Street Foyer or thebridge@leicestershire.probation.gsi.gov.uk. Articles can be sent independently via the Citizen’s Eye Office in the Apex Works building in Charles Street. Leicester.


cover story

Turning a life around...

Personal testimony from Mark Clark, editor of ‘‘thebridge’’ and “Inside&Out” magazines. “Most of my life I have felt alone. I didn’t have anything worth saying. I felt di erent to the rest of my peers; my self-esteem was non-existent. My job in nursing was everything to me because I was good at it. I felt that I was part of something and my Mum was actually proud of me. In 2001 this world fell apart and I found myself in a prison cell. That first night, lying on my bunk all alone I made a decision that ended up being the best decision of my life so far. I knew that I wasn’t happy with the life that had gone before me, so I decided to use my term ‘inside’ to better myself.

I decided that I needed to start writing. I had so much going around in my head I had to write it all down but the gist of it was that I needed to raise the self-esteem of my fellow peers. There was a list of about 8 different activities. It took time, but I went about doing what I needed to do, application a er application to Senior Officers, Principal Officers and Governor grades. I pestered and pestered and eventually it happened. I set up/co-ordinated a series of support services for prisoners which enhanced communication with the outside world such as community groups, friends and relatives.

When I got released I came to Leicester. I got involved with Citizen’s Eye. They gave me a chance and I took over the reins of the Criminal Justice news agency Ino Mag. Through my own perseverance, I have built up a network of CJ organisations all over the UK and beyond. I have visited some of the most forward thinking prisons and have now set up my own business working with offenders, exoffenders and those at risk of offending. I can hear you now! Saying that can’t/won’t happen to me, well it can! You just need to work with the system as opposed to against it, work hard, believe in yourself and keep believing.” For more details about Inside&Out Contact Mark Clark thebridge@leicestershire.probation.gsi.gov.uk

If you have an opinion, a similar story or experience, please let us know. We always welcome and like to publish as many personal testimonies as we can from our readers

After a while I found my feet. Throughout my sentence I did the usual courses, but instead of just being there, I wanted to change and worked hard at turning my life around.

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we’re moving...

your voice...

Friar Lane moves home

SAUB. Get involved!

The Good News Having more of our teams under one roof is good news for you. Many of our service users are attending extra programmes to improve their skills and get advice on how to apply for work and how to act with con dence in an interview for a job. We want to be able to organise your supervision appointments with your other Probation activities so they happen on the same day. Combining appointments will cut down on unnecessary travel time.

What is the SUAB and what will it do?

The Probation teams have now settled into Cobden Street.

Refreshments at Cobden Street At the moment there is a drinks machine in the reception of the Cobden Street Probation Centre, but we are hoping to offer a snack takeaway service that will be provided by the new team taking over e Learning Café. Although the café is under different management, chef Pippa Keirle will still be leading the training. Move news will be posted in the reception area. Transport Links There is limited and time street parking available near the Probation Centre. The main buses serving this area of Leicester (LE1 2LB) are the 50-51-52 and 53.

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Making your voice heard within the Probation Service. The SUAB is a meeting that takes place around every 6 weeks that is attended mostly by current and ex service users of the Probation Trust. The SUAB has a number of different roles including: • Making sure that the voice of service users is heard within Probation • Providing a forum for our staff to consult with a group of service users • Helping teams across the Trust to get service users more involved in the way that services are designed and delivered.

Why should I get involved? There are lots of benefts to being involved with the SUAB..... • You will learn new skills which you can use elsewhere in your life and mention in a CV. • You will be able to have a direct influence on the way that things are done within Probation.

• You will be able to meet other current and ex service users who are interested in playing a part within probation. • You will be able to use all of your skills and experiences to help others.

How can I get involved? There are a number of different ways that you can be involved. We know that some people have no desire to attend formal meetings so we will find a way to get you involved that suits you.

If you think you might be interested please contact Charlotte Talbott for an informal chat on 0116 257 5776.

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The Bridge (Autumn 12)  

8 page Magazine for Leicestershire & Rutland Probation Trust Service Users.