Soon after I wrote my book, The Little Book of Prisons, the time came for the launch at my local bookshop and coverage in the local newspapers. The resulting focus was on my negative past instead of my positive future work. The book launch was cancelled as someone went into the shop and threatened that there would be trouble. The local newspaper ran the story of my convictions and not the one about a book I wrote to help people survive in prison. Although they did choose to use the photo I had sent for the book story they did not mention my mental illness which was a contributing factor to my conviction and consequently the time I spent in custody!
I decided to something to highlight forgiveness, and how essential it is to ex-offenders in order for them to reintegrate into society and focus on a positive future and not fall into social isolation or re-offending. Society must envisage forgiveness and take the opportunity to recognise all the reasons the person broke the law, then they can make an informed decision about the person.
I came across The Forgiveness Project and its wonderful work and the die was cast. My challenge is to walk from John O’ Groats to Land’s End, visiting towns and cities along the way. Each destination will include visits to prisons, probation trusts, youth offender groups, universities, and charities that work to help promote understanding, rehabilitation and re-integration of ex-offenders.
The walk begins 1 September in Inverness, walking for 60 days until arriving at Land’s End on 31 October. The target is to raise £10,000 for The Forgiveness Project, and raise awareness of the concept of forgiveness in our society.
There are two ways to donate or sponsor me. Either a one-off donation, or to sponsor me for each completed leg of the journey. We welcome your support in any way you can. If you can't help financially, please help us spread the message of the great work The Little Book of Prison and The Forgiveness Project does to help victims, offenders and their families.