I haven’t posted for a while. It’s all been full on. I was going to post about our recruitment exercise. Interesting, challenging but ultimately successful and I will be introducing my new apprentice in due course.
Then I wanted to post about the lack of help for women, who want a job on ROTL or on release. That employment for women prisoners is barely mentioned in strategies and funding opportunities. How there is an assumptions, sometimes perpetrated by the “industry” that employment is not important. At A Fairer Chance we have never turned a woman away. We are regularly contacted by women, or their families, desperate for support. Since the beginning of September we have placed another twelve women into work on ROTL or through the gates. I have a further fifteen interviews booked for this week. The women will now have a chance to save towards a rent deposit and have a job on release, thereby preventing them from having to rely on the broken offender housing system.
I am sure our outstanding results will feature in some other organisation’s statistics!
But I have some really exciting news about our work with women. I may not be able to get a seat on any of the “women’s forums” or find a funding opportunity to apply for but another great organisation has seen the worth of what we do. More to follow.
What I really want to write about today is our surprise and delight at receiving a special achievement award from the Violent Crime Prevention Board on Friday night. The VCPB consists of a team of experienced professionals, community influencers, police and practitioners in the area of addressing violent crime; We were selected by the board members, hence our surprise. At A Fairer Chance we believe everyone needs three things if they are going to flourish, something to do, somewhere to live and someone to give a damn. We try really hard to bring these things together.
With our work in men’s and women’s prisons, across the UK, and our work in the community, we have helped people on life licence, IPPs and MAPPA 2 clients move into sustainable employment. We don’t underestimate the consequences of violent crime. But it is a fact that most prisoners will eventually be released. If we are serious about reducing all crime we have to give those people hope that they can access real work.
We are a tiny team packing a big punch and I want to tell me team how much I appreciate their work and commitment.
We are always keen to talk to like-minded individuals and .to build up our network of employers, particularly in London and South East.
We will be celebrating in the office tomorrow…….with cake……and then getting back to doing what we do best. Helping people into work
Maggie Walsh MBE