By Naetha Uren

Life is too short to be selfish. Giving my time, thoughts, skills and experience to an amazing organization, Prisoners Abroad, allows me to give back, pay it forward and make an impact in other people’s lives. 

Being a Trustee for Prisoners Abroad challenges me to think differently, be creative and support people who many would find easy to ignore or discount.  I was motivated to join the Trustees as I feel it is supporting those who need it most, not only the clients, but the families of clients and the team of employees who tirelessly do their jobs with empathy, compassion, perseverance and professionalism. 

My induction, attendance at Board meetings and leadership away days; provides a quality, variety of forums for open discussion, personal and professional development, engaging debates and conversations that lead to change and impact for both the clients and the team. 

Following my induction with Prisoners Abroad I was totally amazed, by the diversity, culture and quality of the work done by this small, committed team and the members of the Board that come together and give of themselves.  Following my induction, on my way home I had mixed emotions.  I was exhilarated and excited, I was also sad; that more people don't support this amazing charity.  I was faced with the reality of the stigma that many people involved with this charity have to battle. 

I am privileged to be a part of this Board; I am honoured to be trusted with a space to help others; I am passionate about second chances.  I would encourage others to get involved NOW, don’t wait till you or a friend hears about this charity because your child, spouse or friend needs their services.  Reach out, ask to learn more, get educated about what Prisoners Abroad does and I promise you, you will be pleasantly surprised.  All it takes is an open mind and awareness that we are all human, no one is perfect and everyone can rewrite the chapter in their lives.

Some of the highlights of my time with Prisoners Abroad have been getting to know people who have made it through the crisis of arriving in the UK and are now finding their way; having the opportunity to meet and build relationships with people from all walks of life who have either been service users or who support Prisoners Abroad; and seeing the tenacity and perseverance the team has to truly change lives; ensuring people have support whilst in prison overseas and on return to the UK.

I believe it is easy to support big charities that have huge marketing programs and are easy to speak about; but if people want to really make an impact, find a charity like Prisoners Abroad where every person counts; look beyond the title to see the impact they make on families and communities; remember sometimes a second chance is all someone needs to lead a full and productive life.