• Shepton Mallet Prison

Lockdown Life - Paula

Hi, my name is Paula and I’m an Event Actor and Escape Room Officer at Shrewsbury prison.

My lockdown experience is a little different from the ones featured on here so far. Whilst the prison is currently closed, I’m still working full time at my other job in Social Care. I’m actively supporting some of the most vulnerable in our society and its tough going for everyone right now. I have co-workers who have become ill with the Virus – some mild and some not so mild – and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t scary going to work everyday not knowing what challenges the day will bring. Apparently my family get a 60000 pay out if I die of Covid and I have given them strict instructions on what it can (and cant!!) be spent on 😊

I think it’s tough for everyone at the moment, no matter whether you are shielding, furloughed, working from home or unemployed. It's unlike anything we have lived through before and I think we just need to try and see the joy in little things. I know I have been. I love live theatre and I am absolutely loving the fact that there is more access to live performances on streaming platforms than ever before – so many theatres have put their archived footage on-line for people to enjoy and I think that’s amazing. It’s a great way to unwind after a long day.

I love that as people are forced to be apart they are making more of an effort to stay in touch than ever before. I have lost count of the amount of Zoom quizzes I have lost – before the lockdown I was able to hide how dumb I was from all my friends!!

I am missing live sport; I’m a huge Rugby (both codes) fan and I’m gutted I have to wait a bit longer for Liverpool to win the league, the champagne has been on ice for a while now!

I also never thought I’d say this but I’m missing training with my team. I play RL Masters with Leigh Minors and unfortunately as it’s a contact sport I don’t see it being back for a while.

Lockdown hasn’t been without its perks. After 3 years of saying “this year I’ll sort the garden” the garden is officially sorted! Though to be fair, I can’t really take the credit for that – all I did was paint a pallet and buy some plants!

I’ve also got to know the postman a bit better after a mad bank holiday weekend where I clicked on every Facebook suggested advert.

After lockdown I am very much looking forward to snuggles with the new people in my life. Two of my best friends have had babies during the pandemic – one has had a beautiful girl and another has had an adorable boy. Photo updates and looking through windows has kept me going for now but I can’t wait to meet them for real.

My advice for when this is over? Smile at strangers. Say hello to dogs. Grab your teenagers and hug them tight. Laugh a lot. Tell them you love them.

So yeah, some good, some bad, but we’re all plodding on doing our best and I’ll hopefully get to lock people up again soon!

Paula - Event Actor at Shrewsbury Prison

#sheptonmalletprison #realprison #lifebehindbars #lockdown #somerset

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Shepton Mallet Prison

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