HACRO has been working on the new Building Better Opportunities STRIVE project in Hertfordshire with 27 other partner organisations and charities since November 2016.

The aim of the project is to engage offenders who experience complex barriers to employment and support them into sustained employment, volunteering or education.

Some of the barriers that HACRO participants face are homelessness and lack of benefits due to not having a work history.

Our targeted client participants have often never had a job and therefore cannot develop a viable or relevant CV- Trying to find employment therefore, is really hard!

Since becoming a partner with STRIVE, we have run engagement activity taster days in construction where the participants obtain basic training from qualified tradesmen and gain work experience.

So far HACRO has run tiling and plumbing courses which have given the participants the opportunity to learn new trade skills that they can use in a practical way through employment or by looking to enrol at local colleges, with HACRO’s support, to gain formal qualifications. Our partners in the local community where these projects are being run include Digswell Nursery in Welwyn Garden City and Emmaus in St. Albans.

The project involves working on a ONE to ONE basis with participants.

HACROS’ Mentor  has worked  with over 22 participants since November.

Most of the course participants are PPO’s (Prolific Priority Offenders).

We have helped 3 participants in to full -time employment and 8 in to training courses and volunteering which helps to build their CV’s and obtain references as well as build confidence and work experience.

HACRO and Emmaus also run a gardening project with Groundwork (another STRIVE partner) called Grow, Eat, Learn which runs once a week where the course participants and Emmaus Companions,  have made a garden, growing their own vegetables and learning to cook them!

We are also running a Horticulture course with Groundwork where participants can gain a City & Guilds qualification in Horticulture.

Some quotes from course participants include: ……….

‘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……..

Key aspects and benefits of the STRIVE project are

  • Learning the benefits of partnership working
  • Engaging people who are the hardest to reach and furthest from the job market and enabling them to improve their work possibilities

If you need help or know any one that does and would like more information about STRIVE please contact our Mentor Tony, click here.