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WORKING WITH PRISONS2018-07-30T12:39:36+00:00

WORKING WITH PRISONS

Here at St George’s Crypt we recognize the benefits of employing and supporting ex-offenders.  We know by experience that ex-offenders remain misunderstood by the majority of employers and are a largely untapped resource.

We believe ex-offenders who have served their sentence and want to change their lives deserve a second chance. Prisons, the Government and employers all have a responsibility, and an interest, to help them to start again and have a second chance.

Working with Offenders has not been without its challenges. A significant challenge has been unravelling the effects of institutionalisation. In order to survive within the regime of a prison governed by routines and timetables, prisoners must accept the reduction in autonomy. Many of our female offenders experience serious anxiety regarding catching a bus and finding their own way to their place of work, the same goes from men coming straight from prison and not experiencing ROTL. (released on temporary licence)

The impact of institutionalization has a huge impact on confidence levels and leaves the offenders with low confidence levels and doubting their abilities, skills and competences. We have addressed these issues by offering one-to-one mentoring and a comprehensive induction programme.

Risk Assessments are done on each individual before a start date so we can establish the best area for working. We have often found that disclosure can be difficult for some,  and we have adopted a safe and calm environment for which discussions can take place. If a person is offered employment a DBS will be required. Often there are barriers as they need to produce identification,  and this can be very difficult as many have lost belongings whilst serving their sentence,  or lived in unstable accommodation. Nurture has an Offender Supervisor who has years of experience in this field and  who is there to help all volunteers and potential employees with these issues.

The Nurture Project & Crypt work with Offenders who have been identified as men and women who would benefit from Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL).

ROTL has been recognised as an important process of the resettlement and rehabilitation of offenders. For many prisoners, especially those serving long sentences an opportunity to access ROTL is a key element for the preparation of their safe release. This gives them the chance to organise work, housing and re-establish relationships with families and their communities.

The project has succeeded in creating strong, sustainable working relationships with Askham Grange, Probation, Youth Probation, Wealstun HMP and Leeds HMP.

Nurture has a 2 cafes within the centre of Leeds which offer not only work experience,  but paid employment,  thus resulting in the ability to obtain a work reference, which for most is the only reference they will have acquired.

St George’s Crypt also has 3 retail charity shops within Leeds that  provides another avenue for both ROTL and Probation to learn skills for working within a retail environment.

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Tara McMillen

Great George Street
Leeds
LS1 3BR
0113 245 9061

NURTURE DIPLOMA

Our project has produced a “Nurture Diploma” which each individual starts on their first day. The Diploma can be tailored to an individual’s needs and previous experience and can be taken with them when they leave. Although not accredited at the moment, it does follows a City & Guilds program and is  overseen by accredited chefs.

In 2016 Nurture completed work on a Training Kitchen within the Crypt.  This was created to provide a quieter training area for those who needed a calmer and more personal working environment. The kitchen is away from the hustle and bustle of the upstairs kitchen and  focuses more on outside catering buffets and breakfasts etc.

Nurture has 3 chefs who are excellent mentors in addition to the Café supervisors who also have mentor training.

 

 

Nurture has 3 chefs who are excellent mentors in addition to the Café supervisors also have mentor training.

NURTURE CATERING DIPLOMA
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NURTURE CAN OFFER

CASE STUDY

“SG became homeless in February 2017 after losing his partner and children through addiction. SG self-referred to the Crypt just turning up one day, broken and homeless.

SG was given a compassionate bed at the Crypt, SG was in a really bad way to such an extent that he overdosed and essentially died and CPR had to be administered by a member of staff. After his stay in hospital SG spoke to a member of staff asking for help to change his life and this has taken him to the path he is now on.

SG’S WORDS

“I eventually ended up in the Growing Rooms recovery house in West Leeds. This time I made the decision that I wanted to try and stop using within six months. Growing Rooms gave me hope. It helps me to look at my behaviours and how to change them and how to deal with myself. Because the drugs aren’t the problem – I’m the problem. And if I don’t change, nothing changes. At the moment I’m on step three and I’ll shortly be going onto step four. I’ve got to change everything about myself. The first thing we have to do is be honest – we have to learn to be honest with ourselves, otherwise we can’t be honest with others.

“I was asked if I would like to work at the Armley café. I’ve now been volunteering there for the last couple of months, being trained in how to work in a café and cook the food. There was a lot of fear there as I’ve never cooked before, but I did it. Through that the Crypt has given me a paid job, so I’m now a paid worker, and they’ve given me the responsibilities of locking up and putting the money in the safe and things like that.

“In terms of the future, I will be looking for full-time work and living life on life’s terms. I want to be a normal person in society. Normally even if it was raining I’d use drugs, but today I can see that I’m changing. I’m not the person I used to be.”

Even though SG had never had any experience working within catering he has learnt many new skills but most importantly SG has his confidence, self esteem and a new purpose in his life building it day by day.

CHANGE A LIFE TODAY

As long as poverty, injustice & inequality persist, none of us can truly rest. It doesn’t take much to change a life, Get in touch today and start making the difference.

To donate £10 via Just Text Giving please Text ‘STGC30 £10’ to 70070

Great George Street
Leeds, LS1 3BR

0113 245 9061