I served over 5 years in prison and had been working for Census Group throughout my sentence. Census Group trained me as a Call Centre Operative and helped me through my sentence. When I was at work it seemed I was not in prison, I had a proper job with a good prison wage and I was able to buy luxuries such as coffee, sweets and toiletries. This meant I was not relying on my family to send money in and I was able to buy a few Christmas presents for my children with some of the money I saved. I knew if I worked well, they would give a job at the end of my sentence.

Knowing they would give me a job on release was a massive relief. Census Group know your background and you have the support of the whole team. They are understanding when you have to go to probation appointments and I do not feel discriminated against for having a criminal record.

The major factor is that you are earning money straight away and they are willing to pay you on a weekly basis at first. Just knowing that you are going to be able to pay your rent, bills, food and will be able to start leading a normal life is a massive weight off your shoulders.

Without the support of Census Group, I would have had to go to the Job Centre, wait for benefits and to start looking for a job, which can be difficult when you have a criminal recorded. Also, the time of applying for jobs and waiting for interviews, can be a lengthy process, plus explaining the gap within your employment history.

Since my release and working for Census Group, I feel I have settled into life a lot quicker and I am now working full-time hours; over 40 hours per week. It has given me a routine straight away, which I needed when I was released as it gave me a focus. I have all the support of the team members, who I can ring at any time, even if it’s not work-related and more importantly I feel like I am living again and a member of society.

I cannot thank Census Group enough for all the support they have given me – I would not be where I am after 5 months of release without their support.

My Fight

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