Serco Employment, Skills & Training Services

A Koestler Award winner and distinction are just some of Paul's achievements at HMP Dovegate

Paul is currently serving an 8-year sentence at HMP Dovegate and came to the prison with Level 3 qualifications. Paul is currently studying an Open Degree (made up of variety of subject modules) in Psychology and Counselling. Living on the Therapeutic Community wing, Paul gained a Distinction in 2022, and was a Koestler Debut Award winner in the same year.

Hear direct from Paul on his experience at HMP Dovegate:

What has your education experience been like so far at HMP Dovegate?

“My experience at HMP Dovegate has been extremely positive. Since I came, I have completed a Distance Learning course in Level 3 Understanding Substance Misuse, and I have completed two modules of my Open Honours degree.

My academic achievements have helped to improve my own self-confidence, and education has been a positive distraction from the day-to-day of prison life. “

What new skills have you have learnt, and how are you hoping to use them when released?

“I have developed many new skills which are valuable to my current living conditions and are also transferrable for when I am released. I have learnt to achieve goals which is something that I have previously struggled to do. I have also developed new communication skills and improved my language and literacy. I now also manage my time more efficiently and have been able to set new career goals.”

How is your relationship with your tutor and Serco Staff?

“I believe I have built really positive relationships with my tutor and the Serco staff. My tutor, Anna-Marie, has helped me with not only my educational needs but also has been a pillar of support and somebody who I have been able to open up to. Anna-Marie has been an excellent facilitator for my open studies and has always been able to assist me with any of my struggles. This experience has been reciprocated with all the Serco staff at HMP Dovegate.

I think Serco is doing well by employing educational staff that truly care about prisoners who want to see them achieving goals and improving people’s lives.

How do you feel your educational experience at HMP Dovegate compares to those you may have had before?

Distance Learning was alien to me before arriving here, so I haven’t really got anything to compare it to. My overall experience is that all the educational staff are supportive and want to see you achieve goals.

Have you experienced any positive changes in your outlook in life?

Education has been instrumental in the positive changes I’ve made in my life and for my future ahead. It has helped me to develop a better sense of myself, and to have ambitions for my release. I have been fortunate to have been given job roles in education such as a teaching assistant, which has given me great job satisfaction, and has opened my eyes to helping others.