23 March 2016 | Guardian stories | Back to Blog

Spotlight on Peter

Peter has been a Dot Dot Dot guardian for over a year and a half. He has been a dedicated volunteer with Sycamore Tree during this entire period, amassing over 400 hours of volunteering.

Prison SycamoreSycamore Tree is a restorative justice and victim awareness course, helping prisoners to rehabilitate themselves and create awareness about their past, present and future.  It operates across several prisons, and Peter usually finds himself in Brixton or Holloway leading his sessions.

Here’s how Peter describes his role:

I work as a group leader – building relationships, facilitating discussion, to help guide my group through the course, and lend support elsewhere as and when needed.

I encourage the women or men to be open in order to fully take responsibility, but my main impetus is to try to help them realize their own self-worth and hope that this continues upon release, so they fulfil their true potential, rather than lead a life of crime.

Recently he had a particularly rewarding example of how valuable his volunteering is:

SycamoreA man, at Brixton, was rambunctious and extremely reluctant to engage in the course during the first two weeks. Claiming that all he was doing, whilst inside, was trying to better his game, to get smarter, figuring out how to continue committing crime, but to not get caught.

By the end of the course, he’d done a complete 180. He was a calmer, content gentleman, and he was excited to tell me he’s starting a CSCS course, in order to become a builder when he came out. Realizing the only true way to not get caught/go back to prison, is by not committing crime! All he now wants to do is remain on that path, and help provide and care for his child and build a better life for himself and his girlfriend.

This isn’t really a highlight; it’s more an example. The whole course is a highlight, as there are so many more examples.

So, well done Peter! This kind of volunteering is absolutely invaluable, and we’re happy our guardians are engaging with such worthwhile causes.

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