Probation Day Competition Winners!

Written by: Fiona· 22 September 2023

We are thrilled to announce that Elizabeth Fry Approved Premises has won the Poetry category in the regional Probation Day Competition!

Our entry, comprised of poems submitted by three of our residents  will now go on to represent the South West South Central Area at the prestigious National Awards as the Poetry nominee.

The judges commended our entry, acknowledging the significant effort invested in it and its poignant reflection on our residents and the Approved Premises environment .

The winning poems are below:


Mans just got outta jail

Everyone is watching expecting me to fail

But I won’t let them see me land back in HMP

I’ll be a success and leave this AP

Not with the fedz  but free

All them years sat behind a steel door

All them years wasted like food on the floor

Sat in my cell 23 hours a day

Wondering how my life got that way

23 now been in and out since I was 17

First time in jail ended up in a STC

First few days I was scared, wouldn’t even come out for tea

Then I was in and out of HMP

Acting the bad man, but that weren’t the real me

Most of my time was spent down the block

Thinking they can lock the locks, but can’t stop the clock

Sitting there dreaming of better days

Hoping maybe one day everything will be ok

Out here I’ve got nobody but me

Been cast in the shadows, no longer part of the family tree

But this time I know that I have to succeed, and that starts with me



Here I Am!

Here I am with too many issues, wondering where are the tissues? After you walk a mile in my shoes, you won’t be able to choose. I’ve been to hell and back too many times to remember to ring the bell. To tell anyone it’s been too painful until I’ve been a dribbling mess, being put to the test, all I want is to rest. In my mind it’s all going around in circles, waiting for turtles to go to the moon.

Here I am hiding it all under a pink bloody mask, trying tasks one at a time, hoping happiness comes and lasts. Now you’ve come along with me on my journey, tied up in your own chews. You understand that I’ve had enough shite for eternity, I thought drinking was the answer until I started sinking on a downward spiral instead. Now I’m thinking of picking myself up once again, going forward in my lush bean shoes.

Here I am after the storm, wiping away the tears, spinning around every second, minute, hour with the tissues falling to the ground. Finding myself in a mound, now I’m feeling proud being me amongst the trees, being a busy bee, drinking tea. Now I’m trying my best, after being put to the test, I’m ready for a rest in bed. Still trying my best, no more, no less. So, here I am being me!



The garden

Sitting in the garden on a warm summer breeze

It calms me, my thoughts- thank you for today

The glorious sun is reflecting on the glistening green leaves

The people around talking mobile, walking- hurry, hurry, Not enough time

I got furry yellow dandelions in my grass carpet today

Their heads help up so proud to the sky!

A bumble bee is buzzing gliding to the sweet nectar of his dandelion friends

Pollen all over its face!

Not hungry anymore, full of content..

There’s tall purple foxgloves scattered everywhere

I see soft velvet blossoms delicate like a silk glove,

I see a brown bricked house very close

Very cosy, all well-kept a building block for life

This reminds me of dark crispy brown bread

All very delicious and ready for toast and butter

Clouds like cotton wool racing through the sky above us all over the world.

I see 2 white pigeons, pure beauty in the oak tree -their feathers so white and crisp,

Well-conditioned, happy with contentment

Birds of joy.

I find today rejuvenating

We underestimate the power of nature..

I am so happy for today.


I qualified as a Probation Officer in 2003 and  have been Chief Executive at Elizabeth Fry Charity since 2008.

I find my role hugely rewarding and am committed to working with Trustees and the staff team to ensure that the Charity continues to grow and provides the highest quality service to women in the criminal justice system.

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