Salford Foundation is playing a key role in the CFO3 project as a sub-contractor of Achieve Northwest Connect.
We are working in seven prisons across Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Lancashire, namely HMP Manchester, HMP Styal, HMP Risley, HMP Hindley, HMP Kirkham, HMP Wymott and HMP Preston.
The main focus of our intervention is to work with those furthest from the labour market to enhance motivation, build aspirations and overcome multiple barriers to work. Project Co-ordinators are working across Greater Manchester and Cheshire prisons with ex-offenders or those completing custodial sentences. The project provides specialist mentoring specifically structured to create attitudinal change and encourage people to access work, training and volunteering opportunities as part of their rehabilitation process.
The Foundation is one of a number of organisations appointed by Achieve Northwest Connect to deliver a mentoring service in prisons to support ex-offenders into employment, training or volunteering. This project is part-funded by the European Social Fund.
Case Study: Aaron
Aaron was receiving high doses of methadone and struggling with life when he first met his Achieve mentor in prison. As the sessions continued, Aaron confided that he felt extremely depressed, anxious and alone. He also felt that he had let his family down and was fearful of his ability to move forward with his life.
“It’s our job to establish what our clients believe about themselves, their place in the world and what future they envision for themselves. We then work to break down those barriers and beliefs that prevent them moving forward positively with their lives” – Aaron’s Achieve Mentor.
Aaron talked about how abuse he experienced as a child had made him feel worthless. He also felt abandoned by his father. He felt that his offending behaviour in his teenage years was a means to get some much-needed attention. Aaron’s mentor helped him to work through other difficult life events, including his attempts to take his own life.
A turning point in the mentoring was when Aaron realised that the resilience he had built up to survive his past could be used to take him forward into the future, and that he was capable of contributing to society again.
Aaron’s methadone intake is now significantly reduced. He has become a mentor on his prison wing and has been signed off by mental health services.
“There’s a light at the end of the tunnel now. I’m working towards finding something that makes me feel like I have a purpose, like when I’m doing my job on the wing and when I’m helping other people. I’m looking forward to a different life when I get out” – Aaron
Case Study: Max
Max is approaching his release from prison and has been engaging in the Achieve programme: “There is often a lot of negativity in prison and this can affect your attitude if you allow it to… I have become much more positive about my present situation and also about the future. I have learnt that there are good elements to even the worst days.”
“Salford Foundation has helped me to focus my plans for the future. I am very much hoping to find work upon release but was unsure in what field… I now have a more definitive pathway.”
“(They) assisted me in understanding some of the things that led to my offending and helped me to develop strategies to deal with future problems. Before working with Salford Foundation, I felt that I had very little emotional or psychological support. I now feel more prepared and optimistic for my future.”
Those who have taken part in Achieve are saying
“I’m 100% getting a job on release!”
“I have found my Achieve worker to be open and honest she has given clear guidance and support. It has been invaluable and has gone a long way to making me prepared for release”
“When I started I felt really low and constantly overthinking. Having talked about things and changed the way I think my moods have improved and I’m feeling more able to cope”
“I found the support to be extremely useful and I have realised that there are much more opportunities on release than I thought”
“The sessions have been really helpful and I’ve been able to reinforce my ‘toolkit’ for release”
“I’ve found my sessions with Francesca really useful and worthwhile, she helped clear my head and focus on positives going forward”
“It helped me open up”
“I’ve taken in everything my Achieve worker has said and she has helped me cope with my time inside,”
“I found the sessions very helpful and I’ve had some good advice. It will help me in the future with any problems”
“Sessions went very well, I felt supported and enjoyed the relaxation techniques”
If you would like to find more about how you can get involved in our Achieve programme, please get in touch.
Operations Manager, Adult Servicesmaggie.firstname.lastname@example.org