HACRO is pleased to be part of project STRIVE. STRIVE being the acronym for Support and Transition Routes into Volunteering and Employment. Find out more here.
HACRO has been working with Hertfordshire Constabulary and BeNCH on a programme which aims to assist the rehabilitation of prolific offenders. We deal with the hardest to reach cases; those who do not want to engage with the police and the probation service. We work with a small number from a group of around 100 who are responsible for a very large proportion of acquisitive crime – Burglary and Shoplifting – in Hertfordshire.
BBO Strive – An Overview of Our Work
After 4 years of working with and being supported by the Police and Bench, we applied to be a partner in the HCC Building Better Opportunities project and were delighted in August 2016 to be advised that we would be moving forward as one of 27 partners across Hertfordshire in this project (see our blog page for ongoing information on the project).
The HACRO Mentor on the project is Tony Franklin (himself an ex-offender), who supported by HACRO Trustees ,Members and other Partners works with the Police Integrated Offender Management Team and BeNCH in referring offenders to HACRO.
HACRO’s mentoring programme is intensive and provides practical support in meeting employment, health and housing needs. Our support helps to keep the majority of offenders clear of crime, saving community costs of prison, court time and police resources.
The road to rehabilitation is long. Many of those we work with have a background of drugs and alcohol problems, they have had a chaotic lifestyle and find it difficult to find a normal life in the community.
We bring the offenders together in groups and involve them in project work and engagement activities including tiling, decorating, bricklaying, plumbing and other relevant trade and horticultural skills.
This involvement is voluntary and the participants have to show that they want to do jobs which help the community. Invariably, Tony Franklin uses the group activity to mentor the team members and iron out personal problems.
- 28 participants
- 5 participants move into employment
- 8 completed horticulture course
- We ran engagement activity’s taster days covering tiling, plumbing and anger management course
- A grow eat learn course in partnership with Emmaus and Groundwork
- A horticulture course in partnership with Groundwork
- Project days at Emmaus, were a group of participants volunteer to help a homeless charity while learning new skills and gaining work experience
- 121 candidates to support, finding them work/training and helping to understand the benefits and housing systems.
BBO Strive participants comments:
‘Since I have been on the project it has changed my life, I have gained some basic skills in tiling and plumbing and been doing a horticulture course where I will get a qualification, plus I have now started to volunteer for Emmaus, the homeless charity most of the week which makes me feel good about myself and gets me out of the house to meet new people…..
….. Tony, The Mentor from HACRO has helped me with my debts and benefits plus given me help with housing so that I was not kicked out of my flat……..
From participants that have found work after the programme:
‘Tony has found me a job working for Watford council doing gardening and training this has helped me better my life and no one believed me but tony’.
‘Ive managed to find myself a job as a chef in a pub cheers tony for all your help great support worker’.
‘Tony from HACRO sorted me a job with Bluesky which I have been doing grounds maintenance in Watford and I am now looking to get apprenticeship in scaffolding’
‘I have been working with HACRO since coming out of prison helping me build my confidence and give me the motivation to go out and find a job I have now found a job and now happy working at a pallet yard’
‘I have now got a job doing grounds maintenance and learning new skills I would like to thank Tony from HACRO and this project for finding me the job and giving me the chance to prove myself for work as I have never had a proper paid job’