What we've been up to this month:

There’s nothing we love more than to catch up with a success story from one of our former prisoner/editors. Earlier this year, the BBC approached us as they wanted to interview a beneficiary of our project. We put them in touch with Lewis who originally came to us in HMP Dartmoor back in 2013.

Despite his tough exterior, it was obvious that he was suffering and missing his 2 young sons desperately. He had a 12-month sentence but didn’t want his kids to visit him in prison so he hoped a bedtime story CD would maintain his bond with them.

“It was so hard being separated from my kids; not being a part of their lives. The story discs really helped. My family loved them and it helped to fill that big gap I felt inside.”
 
The CD was so well received by his family that he soon signed up to do another...and another! In fact, Lewis got involved with every project we could offer and connected with his family in a way that he had never done before.

His dedication to the project made him a perfect candidate to train as a Storybook Dads editor.

“When I got a job as an editor, I felt a connection with other prisoners reading stories for their kids. I knew how they felt, so I tried to make every story as good as I could. I hadn’t used computers much but I learned a lot and even took an OCN Qualification in Audio Production.”
 
“I knew that sometimes Storybook Dads employed prisoners when they got released so I pushed myself to prove I’d be a good worker if they gave me a chance. They did!

"I started editing from home part-time. Working for Storybook Dads helped me to get my life back on track. The work was flexible so I was able to take a plastering and bricklaying course. I also took up boxing and coaching at a local gym which gives kids the chance to get off the streets, get fit, learn discipline and do something positive. It’s good to still be a part of something which helps people."
 
We couldn’t be happier or prouder of Lewis and the way he turned his life around. He repaid our faith in him and took every opportunity to create a better life for his family
 
"My family is settled and happy. I love reading to the kids which I’d never really done before. They still love watching the DVDs I did in prison! I’m hopeful for the future and really grateful for the help I got from Storybook Dads in prison and out."
 
Read Lewis’s full updated story on the BBC website