Our project is motivated by the problems faced by those who have been in prison. As well as facing discrimination by employers, they also lack the relevant skills, qualifications and experience to find employment. Those who cannot find work are twice as likely to reoffend and go back to prison. There is a great need for this project because prison is not working, and we need alternative, effective responses to address the alarming 50% UK re-offending rate. Ex-offenders need the specialised support we provide which connects them back to their families and communities in a meaningful way, empowers them to change their lives, find work and make a positive contribution to society.
The solution is to provide holistic, individualised support for ex-offenders. The funding will be spent ensuring they are as well-equipped as possible to enter meaningful, sustainable employment. We will do this using our innovative prison to employment model which provides through the gate holistic support and accredited training in a variety of construction skills closely linked to local labour market shortages. This is the most effective way for participants to lift themselves out of poverty, reach their potential and refrain from re-offending. 90% of participants will refrain from further offending and at least 70% of participants will demonstrate positive progressions.
We have successfully supported over 3,000 participants to build their skills and enter sustainable employment since 2011. We have built up a reputation for quality and effectiveness. We know that a paid job on release is a major factor in ensuring desistance, hence our focus is always on preparing participants to compete effectively in the current job market. Our greatest strength lies in our ability to provide identifiable routes into employment through the excellent links with local construction employers we have built up. Our commercial model of engagement was recognised as best practice in the 2016 Government review of training in prisons, ‘Unlocking Potential’.
|SKills development £350 per person x 5 people||£1,750|
|Wraaround IAG support £650 per person x 5 people||£3,250|
Evaluation of our projects over the last 10 years have shown that 90% of our participants refrain from further offending. 70% of participants demonstrate positive progressions whether that be employment or further training and 75% of our participants gain nationally recognised vocational qualifications. Our work also achieves ‘soft’ outcomes such as increased hope, trust, motivation and confidence, increased motivation to find work, better administration of personal finance, leading a more structured life, improved ability to work with others and improved job-searching skills.
Since 2011, we have received over £3 million in grants from various Trusts, Foundations and Corporates to deliver our skills and employment programmes which take those furthest from the jobs market, supports them into employment and then continues supporting ‘on-the-job’. Over the last year we have supported over 700 people via this route. Evaluation is an integral part of our work which enables us to understand what difference our work makes and why, what might need to change and whether any unexpected results were achieved. A participant had this to say about Bounce Back: I wouldn’t have stayed out of prison and be where I am today without their help. The best thing about Bounce Back is how quickly I got into work. You have helped me steer myself into a better place. The best advice is to never stop trying and keep going. Hard work pays off. You helped me believe in myself. I’m not just a jailbird, you’ve helped me feel part of society again and not just an outcast.