Janette graduated from LLB (Hons) Law in 2019, today she works in HMP Brixton as Family Resettlement Team Leader. This is her story …
Janette had been working in education for 23 years, when her husband became extremely unwell, so she had to take some time away from work whilst he recovered. On her return to work they had started a restructure, which constrained her way of working so she took redundancy. She was at a loss with what to do next, she had only ever worked in education. She thought to herself - ‘What can I do where I can talk all day?’ - and came up with the idea of going into Law.
Janette came across the ARU London Open Day for the Law degree, she attended. Next, she went through the full application process, which included a written entry test – she was delighted when she was offered a place on the LLB (Hons) Law course.
She recalls her first day back in 2016, in the Auditorium in the Charterhouse building, she was sitting at the front for Principal, David Sexton’s welcoming address. He explained that there was a bursary for students who attended on time every day, and she knew she would get this – she did. The Principal also told people to look around the room and be aware that not everyone would be there at the finish line on graduation day – from day one Janette had set her intention, she was going to give this her all.
Within 3 months, she was voted Student Representative for her course, she was a member of the Law Society and the Mooting Club, where she would practice how to argue and present cases, she even joined the British Library to satisfy her thirst for knowledge! Janette had fully immersed herself into her studies – so much so that she knew all the security guards in the building who would give her a 10 minute heads-up when they were going to close the building each night – she expresses how grateful she was for them keeping her safe.
Janette sat in the front row of all her lectures for the full 3 years. Reflecting upon this, she wanted to take all the information in with no distractions and to have eye contact and interaction with her lecturers. She built strong relationships with her lecturers who respected her attention and commitment to her studies.
All was going really well until tragedy struck, Janette lost 3 close family members, including her mother, in a short space of time, she could have deferred but she thought that if she gave up she would never come back. With the support of Sanja Lalic and her peers, Janette renewed her commitment to her studies, which she needed to keep her going through this difficult time.
Janette graduated shortly after; it was a beautiful day in October 2019 – the sun was shining. She had a huge feeling of accomplishment. She took a few months to relax and seriously started her job search in January 2020. Janette applied for so many jobs, a few months down the line she was still trying. In May 2020, she received a call from Pact (Prison Advice and Care Trust) apologising for the delay in coming to consider her application and inviting her for an interview in just a few days. Janette presented to a panel of 3 and was offered the position of Family Resettlement Practitioner at HMP Brixton – it was ideal for her as she could combine her practical experience from her career in education with the academic learning from her Law degree – she cried tears of happiness!