Foreword by Chief Executive Kim Thornden-Edwards
I am delighted to welcome you to the latest edition of our sentencer publication Changing Lives.
We continue to deliver high quality supervision of offenders which focuses on enforcing the sentence whilst supporting service users to become active citizens integrated in their local communities. Initial sentence plans are tailored to service users’ needs. The provision of Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR) days in sentences offers a flexible approach to structuring support for offenders. Some of the activities they are directed to include Education, Training and Employment (ETE) support, the Substance Misuse Support Team run by the Society of St James and the Women’s Programme which takes place at our community based women’s centres.
Many of our service users are out of work, or under-employed, and to address this early on in the sentence, we have introduced an ETE induction for service users who aren’t working. This new initiative is another way we promote engagement through working with service users to harness their aspirations.
We are proud to share with you examples of our successes in this newsletter. One of these is Jack Betts, a service user who has been sentenced a number of times. His interest in working on boats was established by his case manager at an early supervision meeting, and she referred him to the International Boat Training College in Portsmouth. This led to a place on a year-long boat building course, which has given Jack a pride in his achievements and a new direction in life.
We are committed to developing our relationship with sentencers from across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. If you have any questions, please contact us via Community Director Barbara Swyer ([email protected]). If you would welcome a meeting or presentation from my team, we would be delighted to arrange it.
Hampshire & Isle of Wight CRC Chief Executive
Jack turns his back on crime after training as a shipwright
Jack Betts, received a 12-month suspended sentence and 180 hours of Community Payback for an alcohol fueled assault.
The 30-year-old was initially supervised by senior case manager Julie Eden and then supervised in the latter part of his sentence by senior case manager, Laura Postin with whom he is pictured above. When Julie first met Jack, she found out that he was a skilled carpenter and saw that encouraging him to progress in this direction might help him to engage with probation.
Julie also found out that Jack’s family has a proud history of working on boats, and so she suggested that he look at doing a course run by the International Boat Training College (IBTC) Portsmouth.
Julie said: “I’m really proud of Jack. He’s shown great commitment to the course and is determined to work in the boat building trade
“Not many people are able to make a career out of their passion, and it is my view that this is a life changing experience, not only for Jack, but also for his family.”
Jack said: “The boat building course is really good; I’ve learned lots and I’d like to be a tutor one day. My eldest son came with me on a work experience day and I’d love him to go into boat building one day.”
After successfully passing a four-day trial with IBTC Portsmouth Jack was awarded a Heritage Lottery funded bursary to cover his course fees and started the five-day a week course in June 2016.
Jack said: “Probation has shown me that good things can come out of a bad situation. I say to others that probation staff are here to help. Sharing a bit about myself and my interests led to this course. It’s been the best thing that could have happened.”
Jack also attended the Thinking Skills Programme run by the CRC. The programme covers positive thinking, taking different perspectives and when to walk away from a negative situation.
“The Thinking Skills Programme has made a big difference to me, I now step away from fights. My focus is my family and working hard, I’ve no time for getting into trouble.”
Photo caption: Jack Betts with senior case manager, Laura Postin at the International Boat Training College, Portsmouth.
Public learn about the work of probation at Winchester Court Open Day
A team of CRC staff ran a stand at the Winchester Court Open Day in October to meet with the public and explain the role of probation.
Volunteer mentor co-ordinators Popi Daouti and Ernie Grendall attended with community director Barbara Swyer and network developer Rachael Loveridge. They were joined by case manager, Rebecca Ede and community payback co-ordinator Wendi Prosser.
CRC staff talked with the public about the range of rehabilitation work carried out by the CRC and how people can get involved with supporting the service. This included how people can register ideas for local community payback projects. They also spoke about how the CRC manages supervision of community orders and licences and its growing group of volunteer mentors (some who are themselves ex-service users) and specialist volunteers working with Services’ Veterans.
Community Payback at Romsey Show
Volunteers at this year’s Romsey Show were assisted by teams of probation service users carrying out their Community Payback (CP) hours.
CP supervisor, Paul Nobes said: “It’s a great community event to be involved with. Service users carry out lots of tasks from litter picking and moving hay bales to heavy lifting. We are on hand for anything that needs doing. This year the teams set up pony jumps and seating in the members’ area.”
Romsey Show Junior Vice-Chairman, Nick Hatchley, said: “We are grateful to the support of HIOW CRC and the hard work of CP service users.
“It’s a big responsibility for us to put on the show and then return the grounds to their original state. CP teams are reliable and hard-working, a big help in the run up to this busy show.
“It’s great to see the lads getting stuck in, working alongside volunteers of all ages, and learning about this local event. I hope that it helps them to feel part of the community.”
Photo caption (left to right): Romsey Show Junior Vice-Chairman, Nick Hatchley, Hampshire & Isle of Wight CRC Community Payback Supervisor, Paul Nobes, Service User, Billy Cross.
“This is the first time I’ve been to the show ground. I like to be outdoors and it feels good to work hard and be part of putting on the show. As well as completing my hours, my probation case manager has arranged for me to get forklift truck driving training.” Billy, completing 140 hours of Community Payback
MP visits peer support group Open Door
Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan joined representatives of the Open Door service user group at their weekly meeting.
Open Door is a group for offenders and former offenders that is supported by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company (HIOW CRC). The group meet weekly at St Luke’s church in Southsea.
Stephen said: “I was pleased to meet members of the Open Door group and hear about the issues facing those on probation. I was impressed by the supportive nature of the group and how proactive its members are.”
Probation staff Rachael Loveridge and Sue Vigar-Taylor also met with the MP and discussed the role the HIOW CRC plays in supporting rehabilitation.
Rachael, network developer for HIOW CRC, said: “Open Door is a successful peer support group which empowers offenders and former offenders to seek solutions and advice to help them to stop reoffending.
“Group members help each other with practical support and accessing local resources. They also become positive role models. The group helps members to integrate into their local community, which is a key principle of our new model of rehabilitation – Interchange.”
Open Door has been running for more than three years. During that time group members have accessed training courses and gained paid employment, found housing and support to maintain a healthy lifestyle and formed positive social networks.
“Stephen listened carefully to what we said and showed that he understood the issues facing people coming out of prison and those supervised in the community. We spoke about the challenges of finding a job whilst having a criminal record. We felt valued and we were honoured that Stephen took the time to come and meet with us.” Neil Bailey, Open Door member, speaking on behalf of the group