Social Impact Award

CJ Burge

2017 Regional Winner

Although facing a long-term prison sentence, CJ took the opportunity to learn new skills. She is now studying Law and plans to use her degree to effect real societal change.

Initially imprisoned in a foreign country, CJ’s first taste of adult learning was to learn the local language. On her return to England, she started to work with a project that provides guidance to young people displaying anti-social behaviour.

On release, CJ completed an Information Advice and Guidance Level 3 NVQ and became a volunteer at St Giles Trust offering support to people in custody via their contact centre, Peer Assist.

Since 2016, CJ has been working for the St. Giles Trust’s SOS+ Project which helps vulnerable young people involved in gangs and serious violence. Here, CJ organises and delivers interactive sessions to young people at risk, imparting advice they can use to make better lifestyle choices.

Now in her final year studying Law, CJ is excited about a future shaping criminal justice policy utilising her lived experience and the education she’s gained to create a fairer, just and safer society.

CJ said “My learning has allowed me to be financially responsible and contribute to my family in a meaningful way. It has opened doors I could only previously have dreamed it would open.”

“CJ is a real example of an individual who has turned a negative into a positive, she has shown that you can and will succeed if you put in the effort,” said Junior her nominator.