Motivational speaker encourages change among offenders

News: Michael Maisey HMP Swaleside
Dave Redford and Michael Maisey outside HMP Swaleside in Kent

Offenders at HMP Swaleside on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent have enjoyed a visit from a motivational speaker who has turned his life around and wants to encourage others in prison to do the same.

Ex-offender Michael Maisey was born and raised in Isleworth and was a prolific young lawbreaker, spending most of his teenage years in Feltham YOI. But he changed his life around and is now founder of the Change is Possible (CIP) Project, a peer-led community support group which helps people with mental health, addiction PTSD and childhood trauma.

On 1 September, Michael visited HMP Swaleside with his colleague Dave Redford, who co-runs the project, to host a workshop on one of the prison wings, where he told his story to offenders and demonstrated that change is possible.

The visit was organised by Debbie Smith, as part of the counselling and wellbeing healthcare services provided by Oxleas NHS in secure environments across Kent, in south east London and beyond.

Debbie, who is a Counsellor and Wellbeing Lead at HMP Swaleside, said: “Participants were encouraged to get involved in ‘circle work’ to teach each other in an environment where everyone was equal. The men got a lot from the session, even those who were sceptical at the beginning, and it was a real opportunity to come together for healing and connection.”

Published on 2nd September 2022