Bryan’s Story

My first interaction with CXK was in 2019 in HMP Coldingley. I had arrived in September, and within three days I was completing a personal learning plan. I aspired to complete an Open University access module before studying as an Open University undergraduate. I was advised in the most professional manner and was left in no doubt as to CXK’s potential effectiveness.


I was impressed with CXK to the extent that I immediately applied to become their peer support mentor. I wanted to be part of their positive, can-do philosophy. I was accepted for the role and was instantly encouraged to improve my CV and employment prospects with coaching and mentoring and IAG qualifications. During my time with CXK in Coldingley, I was always impressed with their willingness to find inventive and sensible solutions to the obstacles many prisoners face in finding employment.


In 2022 I was moved to HMP Lewes, and my first impression of CXK was especially powerful. This was a busy and chaotic environment, but CXK seemed to me determined to give every man the opportunity to flourish. By this time, I was studying with the Open University and was about to begin my third year. Circumstances beyond any control meant that I had to defer until I was able to access open conditions and even in this disappointment, CXK was particularly supportive and encouraging.


In May 2023, I was transferred to open conditions. It was my goal to attend a brick university and complete my degree full-time, but I had concerns that I wouldn’t be of a sufficient standard. The guidance, encouragement and positivity shown by CXK during this crisis of confidence gave me back the belief I needed.


I am now well embedded in Portsmouth University, studying effectively and meeting all of my deadlines and targets. This is down to the support and advice given to me at every step by CXK and its staff.


CXK has been more than a service or function to me, CXK has been my friend and mentor at each and every stage, and I am grateful beyond words.




CXK offers comprehensive support within ten prisons across Kent, Surrey, and East Sussex. Our Work Ready Programme empowers prisoners with job market skills, while our careers information, advice and guidance services support them towards fulfilling careers. Additionally, our Settling In programme addresses mental health and well-being needs, helping new prisoners to adapt to prison life while fostering a positive prison culture. Learn more on our Work In Custody page.

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