I have been a prison officer of 16 years, working for Sodexo justice services at HMP Peterborough.
I remember whilst being on the officer training course all those years ago, the union representative coming in to give a talk on the benefits that Community offered.
They told us they negotiated pay, terms and conditions, learning opportunities, which would give new skills, support in all things employment related, a legal team on hand, discounts, savings, advice and representation.
I remember hearing it was a bit like an insurance policy and for £13 back then it seemed like a good deal and something sensible to do.
Little did I know that the £13 per month would turn out to be one of the best and most sensible purchases I would ever make. The first time I ever had to use Community was after I made a mistake at work four years ago – certainly one I would never make again .
Those days were very dark wondering if I would keep a job that I so loved. My Community Representative was invaluable, he didn’t judge me he spent time listening, understanding my situation and gave me the support that helped me through it.
After this experience I decided to sign up to become a Community representative – I knew I possessed all of the skills required and I wanted to give something back to help workers in my sector and beyond. Community has made me an exceptionally caring and helpful person, trying to do good where I can.
I am immensely thankful to Community for being there for me.
To join Community, visit www.community-tu.org/join.