Charlotte’s Story

“Mentoring gave me purpose, focus, and a little more self-belief.”

Loss of freedom when coming to prison is difficult, no matter what the circumstances. You know life will never be the same for anyone involved. Losses come in many forms, from losing your home, to losing your family and your friends. Material things didn’t bother me at all but mourning for a life I once had, did. I had let people down, many of them.

Nearing the end of my sentence, I was concerned about how I would live on the outside, and what I would do for work. I was worried about the present, the past, and the future – what would it look like? Would I ever be remotely happy?

I didn’t know where my life was heading at all as I had no goal, no plan and little motivation at this point. But I did, however, continue writing. I came across the Koestler Arts Mentoring Scheme a few months after release, and felt inspired – I really wanted to be involved.

I was absolutely thrilled when I was accepted onto the scheme. My first ‘win’ in a long time. I dedicated myself entirely to the programme, opportunities like this don’t come too often. When I wasn’t writing I was studying, researching, generating ideas, and it also gave me the space to think about what I wanted for my future self.

My Mentor was utterly brilliant. He helped me focus on what ideas to take forward, and gave me great reading lists. I took every bit of advice and guidance, and as soon as I got home from the sessions I would immediately put into practice what I had learned. Hearing my Mentor ‘laugh out really loud’ when reading some of my anecdotes and describing them as ‘golden’ was real validation for me as a writer, which I was starting to believe I now was.

I had felt lost to say the least when I left prison, but the mentoring gave me purpose, focus, and a little more self-belief. It helped take my mind off unhelpful thoughts and flashbacks. I had something positive to focus on. It wasn’t all plain sailing, but it helped me move forward. Without the programme and my Mentor, I doubt I would have achieved any of it.

Download Charlotte’s full story here

Any Questions?

Please don’t hesitate to ask for more information
Get In Touch