Probation staff have been working hard during Covid-19 to deliver essential services to service users. Over the past few months staff have had to work differently, this work has had a real impact on the lives of those being supervised.
Service users expressed how Probation staff made a difference, helped keep them connected to services and on the right path. The response from service users is reflected in the quotes below.
One service user talked about how they could approach their Probation Officer and access services, “My Probation Officer is very approachable and I have found it easy to access support if and when required. I was able to link in with weekly Relate Counselling Services.”
Through the work of Probation, one Service User was able to have the confidence to know what to do when they were feeling low saying, “It was good that safety plans were put in place when I felt low. I know what to do if I am in crisis out of hours or during work time”
Another Service User has found the contact, especially during lockdown, with probation to help with their mental health issues, and having a Probation Officer that helped to them track their progress. They said “The contact has been good. For someone struggling with mental health or other issues they are reassuring and helpful. It has also been good to be reminded how well you have been doing, particularly in the difficult times through lockdown.”
Sometimes it can be just the simplest of things like keeping in contact with someone that can make all the difference. One service user said, “The regular contact and help kept me on the right path.”
Sometimes the transition from prison to community can be very difficult to adapt to. One Service User appreciated the joined up approach with Probation to help them cope with their new situation. One Service User said, “I had just come out of prison and appreciated all the phone calls and appointments. I would not have been able to cope without the telephone support from my Probation Officer and Probation Services Officer.”
Something that continues to be highlighted is the support Probation Officers provide when they can be at their most vulnerable. Our final quote comes from a Service User who said, “The regular contact was a good point of contact when feeling isolated – someone who understands me. Good knowing there is someone I can trust and tell how I am feeling. Someone who took action when I was at my lowest stage in my life and got me the help I needed.”