Press release

Cash boost for charitable prison and probation projects

£2.4 million grant funding awarded to 13 new voluntary projects across England and Wales.

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  • charities and social enterprises given support for projects to promote wellbeing, improve rehabilitation and reduce reoffending
  • part of commitment to support the third sector in delivering vital rehabilitative services

Offenders will be able to learn vital skills to help them back into work after release thanks to £2.4 million funding announced today (27 September 2018).

Grants have been awarded to 13 charitable organisations and social enterprises as part of new Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) funding.

The grants have been awarded to a wide range of organisations providing everything from support into employment for female abuse victims to training for prisoners in computer programming.

Evidence shows having sustainable work on release significantly reduces reoffending; the support provided by these charities will help prisons promote employment opportunities for those who have been in custody.

Earlier this year the Secretary of State, David Gauke, announced the Education and Employment strategy, which will provide a new focus on work as having the potential to provide a foundation for a better life for people who have been in contact with the criminal justice system.

Prisons Minister Rory Stewart said:

I am delighted to be able to award this funding and have such a wide range of innovative organisations on board and ready to support offenders both in and out of prison.

This investment shows that we are committed to supporting the role of the third sector in delivering vital rehabilitative services.

Charities and social enterprises are crucial in helping us to provide better rehabilitation, promote wellbeing and ultimately reduce reoffending and I look forward to seeing the positive impact of these grants over the coming years.

Digby Griffith, Executive Director for Rehabilitation and Assurance, and Chair of the HMPPS Grants Board said:

We received a high calibre of applications and it is fantastic to be able to give these voluntary sector and social enterprise organisations the opportunity to test their innovative ideas within a HMPPS setting.

I am delighted to award this funding and I look forward to seeing the projects progress over the next 2 years.

The organisations were asked to submit innovative bids that met with seven key themes aimed at improving rehabilitation, promoting wellbeing and reducing reoffending.

As part of a comprehensive bidding process which saw over 200 applications for funding, the 13 successful applicants can be announced today, they are:

  • St Giles Trust
  • Barnardo’s
  • NEPACS
  • National Autistic Society
  • Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre (Darlington & County Durham)
  • Shared Enterprise CIC
  • No Place Productions
  • Birth Companions
  • Samaritans
  • Design Against Crime Research Centre
  • Code4000
  • Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge
  • Safer Living Foundation

The new money will be invested over 2 years, allowing a wide variety of voluntary sector and social enterprise organisations to develop their projects in a range of different environments across England and Wales - from Camden to Kirkham.

Code4000 will teach prisoners computer programming skills, Design Against Crime Research Centre will work with offenders to design and pilot new anti-vandal and safe cell furniture, while the Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre (Darlington & County Durham) will support women who have experienced sexual violence to help them find employment on release.

The aim of the HMPPS grant programme is to improve the lives of offenders by applying the expertise, skills and ideas of voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations.

Community based organisations are often best placed to identify local needs and respond flexibly to engage with hard to reach groups, such as offenders and those at risk of offending.

This has been proven through the Grants Programme which has been the starting place for several activities, projects, products and ways of working which now form part of HMPPS core business.

Thanks to grant-funding, many projects are now embedded into HMPPS approaches. These include the Prison Listener Scheme, work undertaken by Unlock to help prisoners open bank accounts, family engagement workers, mentoring schemes and National Prison Radio.

Published 27 September 2018