However, they were happier to hear that it was only for a day – although still concerned for their poor innocent granddaughter’s safety (clearly they don’t know me as well as they like to think they do). But why did I decide to go to prison for the day?
Having met Grant, a Business in the Community Mentor on secondment from Argos he was telling me about different ways businesses could get involved in the community and really make a difference. He spoke very passionately about what he did and how it all worked and I was sold in minutes. Using my business to help out in the community was definitely something I wanted to be involved in.
I went to Peterborough Prison, I was the first ever female speaker on the men’s side and I spoke about my business, explaining how I got into it and how it was going. I set my business up with me and a laptop. There were no massive investors or any large machines to buy but just me, an extremely passionate, motivated and dedicated person with a laptop. I didn’t go to university, or even college yet I was now a successful business owner in Peterborough.
I explained this to the prisoners, telling them where I came from, where I am now and the journey in between. All the men in the presentation were coming out within the next 3 months so I went along in hope of inspiring them and showing them there was another world out there.
I had some really great feedback from the event and am soon to return to help more prisoners. Just imagine what would happen if every business in Peterborough just gave a few hours to help in the community. How much better would that community be?
Telling my grandparents I was going to prison was always going to be an awkward conversation, they like to think their grandchildren are wonderfully innocent and law abiding citizens who have never said boo to a goose… then there was me – Hazel.
It’s not that I’m a tearaway; I think I’m just not as traditional as they would like to think I am. I work hard but I play hard too. There have been concerns that I work too hard and perhaps play too hard as well. So, popping round to tell them I was off to prison didn’t go down terribly well!