Times2 Maths Mentoring

This project supporting prisoners at five South West prisons has now come to an end. The project supported 430 prisoners to improve their maths using a peer to peer mentoring and supported prisoners to get involved in volunteering activities to support one another within the prisons.

Overall the project engaged 683 serving prisoners.

We would like to thank the Governors and staff of HMP Dartmoor, HMP Eastwood Park, HMP Erlestoke, HMP Guys Marsh and HMP Leyhill without whose support and assistance we would not have been able to undertake this work. We also want to thank all the peer mentors who supported and mentored learners, enabling many to move on to take formal more structured maths courses and the volunteer coordinators who worked with prisoners to engage in the activities and events within the prison providing engaging and meaningful activities with prisoners supporting one another.

‘[mentoring others] keeps me occupied, made me happy to be able to help people that want to learn and that want to improve their maths. […] On release I would be able to prove that I worked in prison, not just served my time and potential employers can see this as a positive thing and give me a chance of employment’

M, mentor at HMP Eastwood Park

An extract from our evaluation confirmed that:

The prisons where Times2 operates all confirmed that the project is having a positive impact on the prisoners including:

  • Improving confidence in terms of overall confidence, and pride in gaining a certificate and progressing with learning
  • Improving maths skills and ability, both for those with low ability, or those with gaps in their knowledge
  • Helping access learning per se, building the confidence to access other classes

Feedback from individual prisoners’ echoes this:

  • F, a learner at HMP Dartmoor said he “suffers from anxiety and stress in the classroom” and that he wants to take part in Times2 to get a better understanding of maths, and to help with his education
  • D, a mentor at HMP Guys Marsh (who was released whilst being a mentor) said “I believe the skills and qualifications I have achieved in prison will further my employment prospects”

In addition, a focus group run by Fair Shares found that being involved in Times2 helped prisoners with their families, developing confidence and building skills, as prisoners said when asked how the project had helped:

  • “It will help my two children and my work”
  • “It has improved my drawing so I can send more pictures and cards”
  • “I will be able to help my son with his education”
  • “Confidence building”
  • “Ability to do day to day calculations”
  • “Helped me become more employable”
  • “Communication skills”

To view an evaluation of our overall timebanking in prisons, click here.

This project was delivered through the support and funding from The National Lottery Community Fund.