Meet the Members | Jamie Grundy

Going Self-Employed at Forty-something, collaboraton in coworking & championing employment for prisoners

Hello I’m Jamie. I’m an Indycube member working out of Cardiff Trade Street and until twelve months ago I’d never really thought about being self-employed. But then the university where I worked went through a large redundancy programme and it was clear that if I stayed, I may have found myself in a role that I wouldn’t have been happy with. So I took the plunge and left.

Having worked in some of the most deprived parts of south Wales on education programmes with the university and in other jobs before, encouraging people into higher education, I wanted to use my skills on my own terms and I set myself up as a freelance educator and trainer. Plus as a new dad, the opportunity to set my own hours and be there for my daughter was really appealing. Fortunately another Indycube member, The Meee Programme, needed someone who could deliver for them and I run employability programmes for them across south Wales.

The decision to go freelance has meant I’ve had time to finish off a Masters in Education where I specialised in prison education. I’ve extended the research I did for this and have now set up my own employability programme called Licence to Learn , specifically for people with convictions (and serving prisoners) into education, employment and self-employment.

I’m also working with Indycube and looking at developing the self-employment aspect of License to Learn, to create an entrepreneurial hub space for Category D prisoners at the end of their sentence to set up their own business. Someone with a conviction is 25% less likely to reoffend if they have an education or employment opportunity for them once they are released. It’s a new and innovative project with nothing else like it out there, so there’s a lot of work to do.

Being freelance has also meant having the time to do other things. I volunteer one day a week at Prisoners Education Trust Welsh Prisons Project and I’ve even run a campaign to bring a pub to Radyr, where I live, it’s first for almost 15 years! So plenty to keep me busy both in and outside work.