Meet Vicki Sampey, Head of safety, Equalities and Decency at HMP Styal
"I wanted a career that would be different every day and a rewarding job where I could help others. I have worked in the prison service for 14 years and have been at Styal for 3 years.
My job is to ensure that Styal is a safe place to live and work.
It was my colleagues who had been on One Small Thing’s training for trainers course and told me how fantastic it was. I knew it could make a massive difference to the way in which we work with our women. Having done the OST training it has made me look at everything we do at Styal with fresh eyes. I am now very mindful about what processes and procedures could be re-traumatising women in our care.
The most challenging aspect of my work is dealing with women that hurt themselves.
The most rewarding aspect of my work is witnessing a woman’s confidence and self-esteem grow and when they start looking forward to a different future.
If I could do one small thing to improve the system for prison residents, it would be to allow video calls so that mothers could say goodnight to their children properly."
Photograph by Roo Kendall
Twenty years of hard graft working in prisons and a never abating feeling of rage at our current system is what has brought me here today.
“A large proportion of the women I currently work with and our inpatients at the hospital have an extensive history of trauma.”
“My role is to carry out the sentence of the courts, treat service users with decency, dignity and compassion and prepare them to lead a law-abiding life.”
“I am now very mindful about what processes and procedures could be re-traumatising women in our care.”
“If there was one small thing I could do to improve for prison residents, it would first of all be to review whether they should be sent to prison in the first place.”
“I think these two courses have changed me as a person and, the way I interact with people. My relationships feel more meaningful and genuine. I believe I’m a better person.”