Women of BOSS

15 Aug 2019

Our Building Opportunities, Skills and Success (BOSS) project works with women and men with an offending background across South Wales to help them move on with the lives on release.

Female prisoners rarely have the chance to share their story but here we focus on two incredible women who, with our help, broke the barrier of a criminal record to get back into employment. Read their stories.

Leanne’s story

Leanne has used her challenging experiences to help other people. With the BOSS project, she has been able to coach, reassure and inspire other people with a criminal record, showing that they can move forward with their lives.

“The Wallich have given me the opportunity to be where I am today.

I joined The Wallich at the beginning of this year [2019] through probation.

I started as a Peer Mentor. I was given the chance by the BOSS project. They kind of hounded me and I engaged and went forward. I’m also doing Peer Mentoring for the St Giles Trust. I was very, very fortunate to be a paid mentor.

BOSS has listened and believed in me. It’s a great support system. It always feels like you have someone to speak to, if you have a query or a problem you can just openly speak to them.

With The Wallich and the BOSS project, they’ll give you advice and guidance on what to disclose, what to say to people. You can just be yourself with them.

I would definitely, 150%, recommend The Wallich and the BOSS project. It’s helped me so much. It’s given me inspiration in myself that I didn’t even know I had. They’re really, really helpful. A really good organisation to go through.

I have already recommended two of my friends to the BOSS project.

There are things I didn’t know before that I could achieve; I now know I can achieve. There is now nothing that I don’t think I could overcome.

For my future, I’m hoping to help people that are in less fortunate situations than what I’m in. Also, to help people with mental health.

I do suffer from mental health myself. But since I’ve started working with the BOSS project, everything I do has a motivational pattern to it, to stop me feeling like that.

My kids, the projects I’m working on; there are so many things that I’m looking forward to, now that I know that I never want to go back to the person I once was.

It’s all about looking forward, having belief in yourself, having confidence and self-awareness.

I’m so thankful to have met these people. If I didn’t meet these people, I don’t know where I would have been.

I want to say thank you to my mentor James, he’s amazing. The woman I’m working with now, Sian, is amazing. Lizzie, amazing. The CEO of The Wallich, amazing.

I’ve met so many inspirational people and I’m so glad that there are people in the world like this, that you don’t have to give up on humanity.

Some people are tarnished and viewed so badly by other people that they don’t have faith in humanity anymore. I have faith in humanity now and it’s good. You can achieve your dreams if you want to get there.”

Chantelle’s story

Chantelle used her time in prison to identify her dream of becoming a professional nail technician. With the help of our BOSS mentors, Chantelle is making that dream a reality by getting the right qualifications and setting up her own business.

“I made my own business plan, came out and then probation referred me to BOSS, and they basically helped me along the way, paid for my logo and helped me with my business plan.

They’ve funded me for things. I’ve had an entrepreneur, Roger, he’s helped me with my business plan, my income, my taxes.

I’ve had a lot of help; they’ve been really good. Fantastic.

I want to be able to be a top nail technician. I’ve had my first client last week. I’m really proud of that. It went really well.

The BOSS project is a really good project and they really support you”

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