Approved Premises

A hand made wooden box being held together in a woodvicePrisoners who are classified as “high risk of harm to the public” often reside in Approved Premises run by the National Probation Service for the first 3-6 months after release. Due to the lack of places available nationally, they can be a long way from home, isolating them from positive influences such as friends or family support and making it difficult to secure employment.  Due to the nature of their crimes and their assessment as high risk of harm to the public, they are also less likely to receive support from voluntary agencies in the premises and may struggle to access support in the community.

This increases their social isolation and therefore can increase the risk of reoffending. To address these needs, we are piloting three support and employment schemes at Glogan House, Bridgwater, Dickson’s House, Fareham and the Grange, Waterlooville.

I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to start working together and Amy has been amazing. The project is beginning to pick up momentum and the residents appear to be engaged in the process. A couple of the residents Amy and the volunteers have helped have secured employment recently or have secured a work trial which is positive.

Achievements

In November 2018 we delivered Level 2 Food and Hygiene training for 7 residents and former residents at Glogan House, supported by a grant from Innovation Wessex CIC. Despite more than 50% of the participants having learning disabilities or struggling to read or write 100% passed the course. One went on to a work trial in a restaurant and one is hoping to pursue this line of employment when his immigration status is resolved. 6 further participants went on to complete a basic cookery course to help them prepare healthy meals on a budget.

In January 2019 we started to deliver an in-house support scheme at Dickson House in Fareham. Supported by a grant from Zurich Community Trust, volunteers visit the residence every week to offer support to residents around various topics including CV preparation, job searches, mental health and wellbeing. After the group sessions there is an opportunity to book one-to-one support around individual needs.

We have been working with staff at the Grange, Waterlooville to transform a disused basement into a wood workshop training residents to make and upcycle wooden items that can be sold to make a sustainable project and offer skills and employment opportunities. The workshop launched in March 2019 and has seen up to six residents attend per week.