Caitlin Wallace, BA (Hons) English and Film student, shares her experience of her placement with HMP Edinburgh.
Summarise your placement experience:
The experience at HMP Edinburgh has been great, an invaluable placement that has broadened my horizons. In the prisons, we work with guys from all literacy backgrounds and all ages who are interested in developing their skills. We chose to read Chris McQueer’s short story ‘Hings’ which has been received really well so much so that one of the guys has mentioned that it has encouraged him to start reading.
Highlights of the experience:
The highlight of this experience is knowing that although the placement only lasts for 6 weeks, interactions like the book club can really go a long way to the guys involved. It can be comforting for them to talk to a familiar face and leave them feeling inspired.
Through the medium of books and talking about how the guys can relate to them, they told us personal experiences that could make you laugh one minute, then bring you to tears another. I will always remember these stories.
Would you recommend a placement to other students?
I would definitely recommend this placement to other students. It is such an amazing and rare opportunity that will not only be great for your CV, but it also provides a real outlook of what prisons and prisoners are like. This placement has been invaluable as it not only has provided me with experience, but also has shown me that this is definitely the career route that I would like to go down.
My biggest advice is to take all of the opportunities that Edinburgh Napier University can provide you. There are many opportunities I have taken, all of which have provided me with the confidence and skills to achieve the most from this placement experience.