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From personal trainer to PE instructor

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Officer Worrall quote

What makes a great prison officer? It might not be what you think.

Our prison officers come from a wide range of backgrounds. But the one thing they have in common is wanting to make a difference.

Officer Worrall decided to become a prison office after working as a personal trainer in private gyms for a decade. He tells us about his career journey and what he loves about his work.

Before joining HMP Aylesbury, I didn’t really know what to expect – my limited knowledge of prison officers was based on what I saw on TV. I don’t think anyone knows what it’s really like until you see it for yourself. It’s massively different in reality – most people think prison officers are burly blokes, but it’s actually full of people from every walk of life. 

You just need to be able to talk to people

Starting out as a prison officer is tough at first. But once you’ve settled into the role it becomes easier - it’s no different from any other job in that respect. 

I was never a big fan of school or very academic, but you don’t need qualifications to be a prison officer. You just need to be able to talk to people and understand the situation you’re are in.

Combining my passion for sport with helping others

Since becoming a prison officer at HMP Aylesbury six and a half years ago, I’ve combined my passion for sport with the enjoyment I get from helping others. After spending 18 months on the landings as a prison officer, I trained to be a physical education (PE) instructor. I’ve now progressed to be a custodial manager and I’m in charge of six PE instructors.

I think working in the gym is one of the best jobs you can have in the Prison Service, particularly if you love sport like I do. One of the things I love most about my role is that I am always supported if I have an idea for how we can do things differently.

Building rapport to help reduce reoffending

We are a new team and have lots of exciting projects – including a Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme, which aims to provide prisoners with new skills, improve fitness and enhance their employment prospects. We’re also involved in a Twinning Project with Wycombe Wanderers Foundation who run a leadership and coaching qualification with the prisoners. 

For me, sport is a great way of building an instant rapport with prisoners which is vital for reducing reoffending and protecting the public.

Find out more and apply

If you’ve been inspired by Officer Worrall’s story and want to find out more about working as a prison officer at HMP Aylesbury, visit our dedicated webpage.

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