A Typical Beneficiary
All proceeds from fund-raising events and donations go towards the rehabilitation of ex-prisoners and the welfare of their families. “G”, a typical beneficiary, spoke at a Fund AGM, a courageous act since the meeting was held in No 1 Court of the Old Bailey. He started:
Until two years ago, I was on the way to getting a custodial sentence. For a few years I was caught up with a number of offences, including drunk and disorderly conduct and affray. I started drinking, which lessened my self-respect and left me at rock bottom. However, I managed to get help from the Community Outreach Team. This was my turning point, and they helped me to manage my drinking I have been involved with the Probation Service for two years and have received excellent help and guidance. When my probation order was reaching a year I was told I could get help from the Sheriffs’ & Recorder’s Fund to help me set up my window-cleaning business. They helped me obtain the equipment I needed and I am pleased to say that things are going well. I now feel much more structured, with a sense of purpose to my life. I now see my young son on a regular basis. All this came from the funding received from the S & R Fund and I hope they continue to provide benefit for others.
An Innovative Project
Following an innovative pilot programme at HMP Isis conducted by the charities Khulisa, The Reasons Why and Bounce Back, the Fund has now embarked on enhanced programmes at both HMP Isis and HMP Brixton.
Ten prisoners due for release from HMP Isis were offered mentoring, together with help to get and keep work. The results are:
Participant 1 remains employed, was selected for an apprenticeship and salary increase, and is enjoying family life.
Participant 2 remains employed, loves working hard and being one of a team, and is being helped by his mentor to find accommodation.
Participant 3 was initially sacked from his job but one of the charities negotiated his re-employment. He is now working so well that he is under review to become a mentor himself.
Participant 4 found work through a friend and is still in contact with his mentor, who is helping him to find new accommodation.
Participant 5 is working part-time while caring for his mother after a major operation.
Participant 6 is working with his mentor to set up as a self-employed painter.
Participants 7, 8 & 9 left the programme and are no longer in touch.
Participant 10 sees and contacts his mentor regularly, but remains in a detention centre.