Foreword by Chief Executive Kim Thornden-Edwards
I am delighted to welcome you to the first edition of our new look sentencer publication Changing Lives.
It is now more than two years since the Community Rehabilitation Companies were launched. We have been through a process of significant transformation and, whilst the changes continue, we are beginning to stabilise the organisation.
We have now embedded new ways of working supported by modern technology and we are refreshing the delivery of our operating model Interchange with further training for our staff.
We believe we are now better equipped to offer the best possible service – both in terms of rigorously delivering the sentence you make at court and supporting offenders to successfully complete their order or licence, and in making those first steps toward rehabilitation.
It has been – and remains – a challenging environment, but we are determined to establish a permanent and well trained workforce in which you can have confidence; and a workforce that delivers excellent probation services.
We are proud to share with you examples of our successes, the latest news about initiatives we are rolling out and updates about our work. One such example in this publication is our volunteer scheme where we are training service users to volunteer as mentors, group facilitators and other supportive roles. Through this volunteering they gain skills and experience which will help them to progress to employment or other ways to contribute meaningfully within their local communities. We have also relaunched our websites and hope that it contains information which will be valuable to you.
Music helps Zoe to overcome anxiety
The 27-years-old, from Fareham has completed a Creative Arts Programme run by TreeCreeper and the Hampshire Cultural Trust, and is applying for a college course before pursuing a career in music and drama.
Zoe committed a first time offence of theft after falling into debt. She was supervised by Hampshire & Isle of Wight CRC case manager Tim Sutton, who referred her onto the course.
The mum-of-one took part in the scheme using Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR) days during a six-month community order.
Zoe said: “My case manager was fantastic, I was really worried about the debt I’d built up, but he showed me where to get advice and how to talk to my sister to get support.
“I’ve made so many positive changes in the last few months, and I’m sure that I can achieve what I set my mind to. I’m very thankful to everyone who has helped me.”
As well as referring Zoe to the creative arts course, Tim helped Zoe with a debt repayment schedule and encouraged her to seek advice from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and to enlist the support of her sister in helping her to manage her money.
Zoe, who works in a fast food restaurant full time, is on track to be debt free in the next few months.
During the 10-week Creative Arts Programme, Zoe had to deliver a creative arts lesson plan, alongside a fellow course member, to venue and probation staff. During the course Zoe also wrote, performed and produced her own folk song.
Zoe attended the Creative Arts Programme during her RAR days. Other types of structured rehabilitation activity in Hampshire & the Isle of Wight which can be delivered as RAR days include:
- Education, Training and Employment (ETE) sessions ranging from disclosure to help with work readiness and employment work
- Women’s Programme
- Anger Management for Women – up to 8 1:1 bespoke sessions
- Substance Misuse Support Team (groupwork and 1:1 sessions) for those not receiving enhanced support such as DRR or ATR treatment services
- Specialist support for service users with autism
- Individual Domestic Abuse Module (a programme of 1:1 sessions for those not eligible for Building Better Relationships)
- General Offending Behaviour sessions (non-accredited – groupwork or 1:1)
The HIOW CRC is currently trialling several new interventions which, if effective, will increase the RAR options available.
Zoe worked really hard during the course, she was enthusiastic and dedicated throughout. She had suffered panic attacks and anxiety in the past, but as she engaged in the course, she grew in confidence and I could see the changes in her. Small things like making phone calls had been really difficult but with the help of the tutors she's overcome her anxieties and approached a local choir to join. Tim, Case Manager
HIOW CRC Volunteering Scheme is giving service users new skills and confidence
The CRC launched a Volunteer Scheme recruitment drive at the end of last year. Since then over 30 people have been trained to undertake a variety of volunteer roles. Most of the trainees are current or recent service users. They aim to become active volunteers in the CRC.
The training takes three days and includes an introduction to the Interchange Model, skills to engage with mentees, how to manage boundaries and confidentiality.
As local people, many with lived experience of the criminal justice service, volunteers promote the belief that service users can make positive changes to their circumstances and have a stake in their local community.
Volunteers work closely with HIOW CRC’s staff to ensure they support the achievement of goals set out within an individual’s sentence plan.
Typically, a volunteer may be asked to do any of the following:
- support and encourage people to stick to the terms of their licence or order
- assist offenders to complete application forms for housing and other agencies
- encourage and help individuals to set realistic goals and use their time positively
- encourage self-help and development of people’s self esteem
- help people access local services that enable them to overcome their problems
Photo caption: Volunteers with their training completion certificates and CRC Volunteer Coordinator, Sue Vigar-Taylor, back row, right.
"My own experience shows that you should never write people off. If I can use a little bit of my story to help engage people, then fantastic. Getting support from a professional is vital but getting support from someone with my record, hopefully that will work for some people." Volunteer, David Fox
Over 120,000 hours of Community Payback work have been carried out across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in the last 12 months. One of the projects undertaken has renovated parts of St Faith’s Church in Lee-on-Solent. Between January and May, the church benefited from weekly Community Payback visits. Service users carried out interior painting and groundwork.
Church administrator, Andrew Munro said: “Work had to be done around the lettings taking place in the Centre and the people who have met them have been impressed by the men’s courtesy, their willingness to help and the quality of their workmanship. The area around the church and the Parish Centre looks so much smarter.”
Photo caption: Service user painting inside, Left to right, Service user Ben, CP supervisor, Darren Hicks; St Faith’s Parish administrator, Andrew Munro, CP placement coordinator, Jeff Harris
From the first visit I have been very impressed by the quality of the work which has being done, the good nature of the teams and the strong leadership of the supervisors. Church administrator, Andrew Munro