Meet Paul… 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.

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

Why did you become a Prison Officer?

To try something completely different to my previous jobs.

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

It was a very challenging time. Learning new skills and ways of dealing with difficult and potentially dangerous situations. Doubts were there but I stuck with it and improved gradually.

What is the best thing about being a Prison Officer?

The camaraderie with colleagues.

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

Become more assertive and confident in myself. More alert to dangers in the outside world. More cynical.

Tell us about your proudest moment during your role?

Avoiding serious injury through alertness during an attempted assault on me.

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

Be prepared to be challenged daily and be able to adapt as you learn the role. Be confident but not arrogant. Always stay within the boundaries of the law and be very aware of manipulation.

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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