HACRO RECOGNISED TWICE IN HERTFORDSHIRE HIGH SHERIFF AWARDS 2017
This year Hertfordshire’s High Sheriff, Stelio Stefanou, made Partnership the theme of his prestigious High Sheriff’s Awards. This award recognises the best in partnership working between the voluntary, public and private sectors across the county.
HACRO was highly commended for its Social Enterprise Partnerships in the visits hall at HMP The Mount in partnership with the public sector (prison), the voluntary sector (Community Development Agency [CDA] Hertfordshire) and the private sector (Cibo Food & Drink Ltd).
CDA Herts are partners with HACRO, running the play area in The Mount prison’s visits hall. Some 4,700 children each year can play safely here, under the watchful eyes of a professional supervisor and volunteers, while their mums are making their prison visits. This facility takes a lot of stress out of visiting the prison, and the children respond very well to the friendly attitude of the staff and volunteers.
A cup of real coffee and a piece of cake make a visit go well. The visit hall’s Cool Bean Café offers a delicious range of Cappuccinos, Lattes and freshly made food. It is run by the men inside, who get supervised barista training while doing so. Their training is accredited by the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe and comes from a partnership running since 2013 between HACRO and Cibo Food & Drink Ltd – a local firm. Over 30 baristas have graduated through this scheme and now have better prospects of employment in this growing service industry on their release.
Also highly commended, this time for the sharing of skills, was the partnership created between Emmaus St Albans, Groundwork East, and HACRO. This project provides ex-offenders, and the residents of Emmaus St Albans, knowledge and skills around horticulture and landscaping. It offers supervised training and evidence of work that will support future job applications via a City & Guilds qualification. This scheme also aims to provide a route into further education and qualifications in horticulture and gardening. The scheme also improves diet and health, as well as team building skills.
“It’s really rewarding to be recognised twice for the excellence of our partnership working,” said Yasmin Batliwala, President of HACRO. “Partnerships are at the heart of what we do in our work in the criminal justice community. We believe everyone deserves a second chance. By pooling our skills with partners who share our vision, we are able to get meaningful results which can really help people get their lives back on track.”
The Partnerships between (Left) HACRO, CDA, Cibo and HMP The Mount being awarded the Highly Commended certificate by High Sheriff Stelio Stefanou.