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A Civil Servant's Community Service - Working in a Small Charity

Six months ago, I knew nothing about rugby, prison rehabilitation or running a charity. Naturally therefore, the Civil Service posted me to a rugby-based prison rehabilitation charity. When I was informed of my new role, I promptly commissioned a rugby fact list from a friendly colleague (thanks Dave!) and signed up to the local gym. I felt I could easily get on board with the 3 Pillars values of ‘education’ and ‘ethos’ but, having always been the last to be picked for any sporting team, the ‘exercise’ element might prove a challenge!

3 Pillars has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone. I can now say that a prisoner taught me to do bicep curls, my colleague taught me how to do burpees and my boss has been on the receiving end of my punches (I hasten to add that this was in a controlled environment, supervised by a professional boxing coach and no-one got hurt).

​Exercise certainly breaks down barriers with colleagues and allows you to build deeper relationships, just as it does on 3 Pillars’ courses in prison! I have learnt about the joys and struggles of working for a small, recently established organisation. Being part of a close-knit team, who really believe in the work we do, has been a real privilege, and I will be taking fond memories, varied experiences and new skills with me.



Nicola joined 3 Pillars on secondment from the Civil Service Fast Stream and was excited to gain experience of the charity sector and to see Government from the other side. She joined 3Pillars Project to build our partnership network and to develop our digital strategy.

Registered Charity Number: 1178703 (England and Wales)