Meet James… Our Hidden Hero

The 29th of September 2021 marks #HiddenHeroesDay, where we celebrate and thank the often, unsung ‘Hidden Heroes’ across the custodial and community justice estate, who work tirelessly, especially during the covid-19 outbreak.  It’s an opportunity to show them that, while they may be largely hidden from public view, they’re not forgotten, and that the people who know them best, truly appreciate all they’ve done, and continue to do.

Despite their huge contribution and incredible efforts in supporting those within our justice system, Prison Officers, Probation Officers and Staff often go unnoticed, so to recognise the amazing work they have done and continue to do, we wanted to put in some of these amazing people in the spotlight.

James, who works as a Prison Officer, is a Hidden Hero. We’ve asked James a couple of questions about working for the Prison and Probation service:

Why did you become a Prison Officer?

To feel like I am giving something back to the community.

Do you recall your first days in the role? What were your initial thoughts?

Yes! I absolutely loved it, the hustle and bustle got me excited for the job.

What is the best thing about being a Prison Officer?

That you seem to become part of a family with the staff you work with.

If in any way, how would you say your experiences in your role have changed you?

I was always a confident person but I believe this job has taken me to another level, I’m more assertive and it has made me understand more about personal issues.

Tell us about your proudest moment during your role?

Helping a prisoner turn their life around and making them see past the uniform and to see that prison isn’t the be all and end all.

What would you tell someone who was thinking about a role within the sector?

If you start the job give it chance as it takes time to feel like you know what you’re doing in the role. Give it at least a year before making a decision if the jobs for you.

Show your support

To pay tribute to those hidden heroes working within prisons, probation and youth justice services across the, you can donate money to Mental Health UK.  With around one in four people experiencing significant mental health problems in their lifetime, the hidden heroes working within prisons, probation and youth services are coming together to raise money for this chosen charity https://mentalhealth-uk.org/donate.

Additionally, if you work in the sector, or would like to support those that do, you can take part in a #HiddenHeroes Charity Challenge!  Find out how here: https://www.hiddenheroes.uk/CharityChallenge.

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