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HMP Woodhill 

Staff and Residents


We  first noticed Unlocking Potential when Gethin liked a post about HMP Woodhill so thought I’d see what it was about, intrigued I Direct messaged Gethin getting a quick response a few emails and phone calls later we had him booked in for June 18th .

I was given lots of info on what Gethin had done at other prisons and was confident that both staff and the men in our custody would benefit . Gethin relaxed relatable style of delivery was perfect his message is simple but profound.

For me the best words to describe Gethin visit come from one of our men Paul , “ I wasn’t sure if he’d get the respect when he started but he definitely had it at the end “ Paul has been with us on numerous occasions but with just one visit the impact was there he wants to stay in touch with Gethin and keep progressing .

Other men mentioned “ we were talking about it as we walked back to the wing , and are still talking about it now “  “ when’s he coming back we want others to hear what he has to say “

Personally I’ve never seen a speaker have so much impact and I know that at HMP Woodhill we really want as many return visits as Gethin can do , both for the men and the staff .


Andy Laidlaw

Head of Reducing Re-offending
HMP Liverpool

0I am Prison Governor and have worked for the Prison Service for over 20 years. 

I have known Gethin for a few years having met him at various prison reform events. I was aware of his work but had never actually seen him address an audience until recently.

I have to say it was one of the most effective deliveries I have seen. Gethin delivered his ‘Seeds of Belief’ presentation to a group of prison staff and then later to prisoners.
He ‘spoke’ to his audience changing the content and style of delivery to suit the people he was speaking to and he held their attention with apparent ease.

He was both entertaining and serious in equal measure. He had his audience switching from gasps to laughter as he told his very personal but poignant life story.

He is a true inspiration and the definitive motivational speaker.


Kerrie Brooks

Programme Manager and Prison Lead for Rehab Culture 

HMP Onley
Kerrie Brooks #2 2Some feedback from staff who attended the first half of the day was; “it’s great to see that the small things we do can make a big difference,” “Gethin has given me a new sense of purpose for my future career”, “I really enjoyed the training, it was relevant and worthwhile”.

The day of the Residents event, Gethin made his way around the venue and greeted our residents as they arrived. This was appreciated by all and supported Gethin engaging our residents from the start.

On the back of these very successful events I have been asked by Residents for more information about Charities such as Clinks and other companies that support offenders being released from Prison to resettle. I have also been approached by a number of staff from a range of grades and disciplines who want to be more involved in our project work and support our priority to develop a rehabilitative culture


Paul Baker

Director of London and Thames Valley Prisons Group


Gethin is one the most inspirational speakers I have ever heard. His personal story of transformation lit up the room at a recent event I hosted, and the audience listened with spellbound attention.

His is a story of hope in the face of adversity and resilience in the face of a society which is quick to condemn and slow to offer redemption. His narrative that people, not systems and processes, change lives will offer hope to organisations of any size that it is the people they employ who have the power to become instruments of personal transformation and that their effort is worthwhile and of real value every day of their lives.

I recommend Gethin to anyone who is seeking to inspire and revitalise a workforce or individuals that they matter and that achievement and success is a state of mind.


Matt Mason

Centre Director – John Pounds Community Trust


After meeting with Gethin it was clear he ‘got us ‘ as a business and individuals. I could see the programme would not be off the shelf, but shaped for the team’s needs. Gethin’s professional background had clearly given him a good understanding of various teams’ dynamics and an understanding of the pressures I was experiencing.

Planned with the business in mind, at a time and place that best suited us. Which helped achieve successful outcomes for all. ‘Staying in touch ‘ by follow up emails promoting thought into action worked well. 

The team are talking about the programme with each other and trying to implement positive change. Individuals are more positive in themselves and when supporting their colleagues.  Individuals have a more positive approach when dealing with problems and the day to day pressures of their role. 


Natasha Porter

Chief Executive and Founder Unlocked

Gethin grasped the organisation aims, the significance of the event and the audience very quickly.  As such, we were able to discuss his ideas around appropriate content from very early in our communications.  He was the first speaker of the evening and it was pitched at the perfect level for the audience and set the tone for the remainder of the event.  The speakers following referred to Gethin’s speech as comparison points.  His playful approach did not distract from the serious and thought provoking elements of Gethin’s story.  It did, however, create a more relaxed and personable environment for the audience to fully understand Gethin’s transformation path.


Anne Fox

Chief Executive Officer – Clinks

Anne Fox

Gethin was a pleasure to work with throughout the process.  We were unable on that occasion to accommodate his full talk in our programme but he developed an input to suit what we needed.  He met the brief brilliantly, developing an inspiring short input as part of a panel drawing on his personal and professional experience. 

Gethin is an engaging speaker.  His delivery is incredibly warm, accessible and welcoming. He captured the audience and is easy to listen to.  He provides an insight into his personal and working life which he makes available to others to learn from. 

His input on the day and his ability to breathe such life into our programme was really well received.  Delegates to our conference remarked specifically on the panel session in which Gethin participated. 

Delegate feedback included “Honest and inspiring – great to hear the individual panel members personal journey and coping strategies”, “Good interesting discussion, gave me hope.”



Sandra Barefoot 

Programme Manager, The Forgiveness Project

To hear Gethin speak is to realise the incredible journey another human being takes through life that presents such difficulty and yet who shows the immense resilience to choose a different way of living. 

Gethin spoke of where new seeds were able to be planted in his life and where they couldn’t be.  In reference to his life in prison he said, “how can you plant seeds within contaminated soil?”.  This powerful question has stayed with me as I ask this of myself and of all the work I deliver within the prison system.

Gethin illustrated so powerfully how seeds began to be planted by individual people who believed in him, by those who kept by his side and by those who didn’t waver in their knowing he had the strength to change and with this, Gethin’s resilience and courage began on his journey of change. 
Gethin’s story speaks of what it truly is to be human and how the internal resilience comes to show its true strength within all the suffering and struggles that life presented to him.


Cheryl Harper-Duffin

Head of Operations at Learning Links (southern) Ltd

Gethin delivered Leadership sessions to the Learning Links management team. This was commissioned due to a restructure in the organisation.
Gethin has a style of delivery which seems to suit every learner. He makes you feel like you are having an informal chat with a friend but he manages to inspire you, impart information in a way that makes it easy for you to absorb and gives you the desire to learn more. Everything he delivers seems to tie perfectly into your particular role but also manages to do the same for everyone else no matter how different everyones role is.
Gethin has helped me become a better manager by giving me the tools to better know myself and my team’

 Local Authorities 

Liz Crate

Operations Manager Solent Jobs Programme at Southampton City Council


Gethin had delivered a “Seeds of belief development” programme to our clients and due to the success of this programme I asked Gethin to deliver his “Art of Communication” workshop to the support workers. These was a mixture of staff from Portsmouth City Council, The Wheatsheaf Trust and Southhampton City Council.

Below are a selection of comments from delegates

I found Gethin a very inspirational man and an excellent workshop. It really made you think about how you communicate with clients and how different approaches / changing approaches can benefit your working relationship with a client to gain the best possible outcome for them.

Gethin’s personal story – though extreme – was fascinating. The part of the training I found most useful was probably the transactional analysis. It made me reflect on my own style of practice when working with clients.

Gethin clearly knew his subject and his delivery was engaging.

Yesterday’s training was really enjoyable and I feel that we covered the objectives that were set at the start of raising awareness. It was eye opening and I can definitely find myself referring back to certain sections to make sure I am more effective with my delivery.


Sara Sweeney

 Service Leader Portsmouth City Council

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAiGAAAAJDM4Mjk2MzhiLTQ1ZjgtNGU1ZS1hODk1LTM4NjFmNmU3Yjc5NQGethin had a unstructured brief, however as he know the work the team carry out he was able to develop an empowering workshop that allowed practitioners to reflect on their practice and see things from another perspective.

Gethin listened to brief and understood the work team carry out on a daily basis. With this information he was developed an empowering workshop that allowed practitioners to reflect on their practice and see things from another perspective.

The session was both relaxed, informative and the style allowed for free thinking and sharing of ideas. Working with to develop ideas rather than being ‘lectured’.  

In discussion with the team they really liked the presentation and felt it enhanced their learning.  Some practitioners felt is enabled them to move away from the rescuing and creating dependency mode and enabling their young people to seek solutions with support, rather than be provided with the answers.

The session offered great value and expressed how “one size does not fit all’ – lets start looking at the bigger picture and remember change is possible, and keep persevering.


Sarah Newman

Deputy Director of Childrens Services Portsmouth City Council

Sarah Newman Headshot

Gethin’s  workshop fully met the brief. It was particularly useful to revisit engaging for change and motivation for change

The content was interesting. It used personal story telling, which is meaningful and inspiring. The workshop allowed the team to revisitHow they working with complexity from a different perspective and offered some valuable nuggets in terms of creativity, intensity and persistence







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