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News

Aldo Trust supporting prisoners directly via RECOOP

Monday, October 15th 2018
The Aldo Trust has generously supported RECOOP with a grant of £1000 to be used to assist individual prisoners with small grants in order to buy resources to help them make their period of incarceration a little more comfortable.  We are working with individuals to identify purchases to aid their mental health stimulation, well-being and independent living preparation. The men and women RECOOP work with have benefitted hugely from this grant: Our Aldo Trust coats continue to be...
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RECOOP Project Co-ordinator is nominated for a Creative & Innovative Social Work Practice Award

Monday, October 1st 2018
RECOOP Project Co-ordinator in Devon & Cornwall, Liz Ropschitz, together with a Social Worker and Occupational Therapist from Devon County Council, have been nominated for a Creative & Innovative Social Work Practice Award in recognition of their invaluable work supporting prisoners with health and social care needs, which includes the Buddy Support Scheme, in the Devon Prison Cluster. This Award, was set up to celebrate the outstanding achievements of practitioners and teams up and down the...
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RECOOP wins Innovation Wessex funding to develop Transition Resettlement Training for the community

Tuesday, September 25th 2018
RECOOP is pleased to announce that it has recently won some funding from Innovation Wessex to develop our older ‘Transition’ Resettlement course for community delivery. The team plan to adapt and trial the programme in a number of National Probation Service Approved Premises’ in the Autumn across the South West. We are thrilled to be able to reach those residing in these settings with this supportive course and hope to mould it to meet their specific needs to reduce the fear and...
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"Rubies" from HMP Eastwood Park exhibit at Koestler Trust exhibition

Monday, September 17th 2018 - RECOOP
The Rubies at HMP Eastwood Park have yet again won numerous awards in recognition of their creativity and the work of one will be exhibited at an exhibition in the Royal Festival Hall.
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Healthy Eating & Living in Prison (HELP)

Wednesday, August 15th 2018
With obesity at an all-time high, there has never been a greater urgency to address the detrimental effect poor food choices and lack of exercise have within our prison system. One ex-prisoner said “At 6’ 1” in height, I went into prison a reasonably trim 12.5 stone (79 kg) with a healthy BMI.  I came out a few years later at around 16 stone (101 kg).  On average I think I gained over 16lbs per year”. With many prisoners spending increased amounts of time in cell, it...
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RECOOP wins back contract to deliver Day Centre services at HMP Eastwood Park

Thursday, July 19th 2018
RECOOP is pleased to announce that it has won back the contract to deliver the ‘Rubies and Blue belle’ services at HMP Eastwood Park. Paul Grainge Chief Officer adds ’We are thrilled to be able to continue supporting the older female population in this establishment. The new three-year contract will provide us with the opportunity to develop the service further, continuing to meet the differing needs of the women we support and ensuring it remains fit for purpose.’ On hearing the...
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CF03 Bicycle Initiative

Thursday, July 12th 2018
One of the core objectives of CF03 is to improve social inclusion. Many of the participants we are working with have experienced multiple difficulties accessing education and training - excluding them from finding better opportunities after release. Our Case Managers work with individuals to guide them and provide advice and support with the aim of getting back into employment.  Participants are also offered accredited personal development and vocational courses. Deb Earley, one of our CF03 Case...
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SSAFA and RECOOP working together for Armed Forces Day

Tuesday, June 19th 2018 - Liz Ropschitz
Once again, Armed Forces Day saw Liz Ropschitz, Health and Wellbeing Manager for RECOOP and HMP Dartmoor prison officer Chris Elliott raising the awareness of SSAFA, the charity whose support is available to all ex-services personnel and their families, both in the community and in custody. In June 2018, SSAFA Devon received the Queens Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) for relieving need, suffering and distress amongst the Armed Forces, veterans and their families in Devon. QAVS is the highest award...
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Transition 50+ "A course to be remembered with a real sense of pride and accomplishment"

Tuesday, May 15th 2018 - PL - Prisoner HMP Ford
One of the participants at HMP Ford who enrolled on the Transition 50+ Resettlement Programme sums up the impact of the 4-day course.
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Transition 50+ Resettlement Programme

Wednesday, April 25th 2018
Release from prison can be both a daunting and exciting experience. Our “Transition 50+ Resettlement Programme”, which has been designed to address the specific resettlement needs of those who are aged over 50, aims to equip older prisoners with the appropriate knowledge and skills to support a positive resettlement experience and to live actively, responsibly and productively post release. The Programme is now being delivered in a number of prisons on a quarterly or bi-monthly...
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Improving Social Inclusion

Wednesday, April 18th 2018
RECOOP and parent company BCHA, were awarded the HMPPS Co-Financing Organisation Round 3 (CFO3) contract in July 2015, funded by the European Social Fund. Together, RECOOP and BCHA plan to support over 500 offenders during the life of the 5¾ year contract across a number of prisons and community settings within the South West region. One of the core objectives of CFO3 is to improve social inclusion. Many of the participants we are working with have experienced multiple difficulties accessing...
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Impact of Buddy Support Training

Friday, April 6th 2018
Working alongside Devon County Council and three prisons in Devon, RECOOP has been delivering The Buddy Support Scheme in HMPs Channings Wood, Dartmoor and Exeter for over four years and has just completed training within four prisons in The East Prison region – HMPs Highpoint, Littlehey, Warren Hill and Bure. The Programme is designed to equip prisoners to support other prisoners with health and social care needs and the day-to-day challenges they face within an often very difficult...
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In-cell Activity Packs - "keeping prisoners gainfully occupied"

Monday, March 12th 2018
In their report “Life in Prisons: Living Conditions (2017)”, HMIP reported that: “Prisoners will sometimes spend a lot of time in their cells due to limited access to association or work; this may hinder their ability to cope with day-to-day prison life, leaving them vulnerable. It is therefore important that they have sufficient mental stimulation available to them during periods of lock-up – a lack of which can lead to prisoners experiencing”. RECOOP has been working...
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IMB approaches RECOOP’s Rubies for help

Wednesday, February 14th 2018
Following an appeal in October 2017 by the Royal United Hospital Bath asking for knitters to help provide tiny bobble hats for new-born babies at the RUH Bath Birthiang Centre, the Independent Monitoring Board approached The Rubies, a Day Centre run by RECOOP for the over 50s at HMP Eastwood Park, for help.  The ladies jumped at the opportunity to be a part of this project.  The hospital is introducing a traffic light, colour-coded system of green, amber and red bobble hats to help ensure that...
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Vulnerable Women in the Prison System

Wednesday, January 31st 2018
Alma Hageman speaks at event run by Positive Justice Gloucestershire.
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The impact of our Day Centres

Thursday, January 18th 2018
Like all charities, we collect numerous statistics throughout the year in order to highlight the importance of the service we offer.
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"Renewed my faith in what is possible"

Friday, January 5th 2018
RECOOP’s consultancy project in support of The Brookdale Centre for Healthy Aging (City University of New York) and the Osbourne Association (a charity supporting offenders in the community across the state) is nearing completion.
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Development of an older community support network for returning offenders in New York

Thursday, October 5th 2017 - RECOOP
In August, RECOOP hosted its second US delegate, Laura Roan from the Osborne Association in New York as part of our joint project together with the Brookdale Center for Healthy Ageing, to support the development of an older community support network in the city for returning offenders.  Laura manages a number of prison support services across New York State.  We were able to showcase our Community Support Café model where Laura joined in a wellbeing group and visited a number of partner...
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Buddy Support Scheme

Friday, September 1st 2017
Primary Care is under increased pressure due to the number of prisoners coming into prison with health and social care needs. Remand prisons, in particular, suffer as the volumes of people passing through can be over 200 a month.  With restricted staffing levels in many prisons, this can be exacerbated when prison officers are required to escort prisoners out to hospital appointments. Working alongside Devon County Council and three prisons in Devon, RECOOP has been delivering The Buddy Support...
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Pilot "Transition 50+ Resettlement Programme" a resounding success

Friday, August 18th 2017 - RECOOP
The first pilot of our “Transition 50+ Resettlement Programme” has now been delivered in HMP Lewes with resounding success.  All participants were over 60 years old and all reported that their knowledge and confidence levels of each module had increased as a result. "It covered a lot more than I thought it would and I realise how much I need to rely on others before getting out.  All on the course felt empowered, even me!  We now know how to organise our worries and...
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Social Care in prison

Monday, August 7th 2017 - Ryan Harman
Ryan Harman, Advice & Information Manager, Prison Reform Trust and RECOOP Trustee/Board Director talks about Social Care in prison.
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“Provision for older prisoners by The Lobster Pot was outstanding”.

Tuesday, August 1st 2017 - RECOOP
The Lobster Pot (over 50’s Day Centre established and run by RECOOP at HMP Leyhill) was mentioned favourably numerous times in the recently published (26th June 2017) IMB Report:
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Ladies behind bars making a difference

Wednesday, July 19th 2017 - RECOOP
Ladies behind bars in England can and DO make a difference to children and families who have lost their home, country, family, possessions, safety and security. During one of the Rubies’ sessions (day centre for the over 50s at HMP Eastwood Park established and run by RECOOP), a Ruby expressed her distress and compassion for the refugee children in Greek camps that she had witnessed whilst watching a TV programme. “If only I could do something” she exclaimed. As there is no such...
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Armed Forces Day

Wednesday, July 12th 2017
Armed Forces Day is traditionally marked on 24th June by events including parades, military displays and community fetes, taking place across the country. Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and women, both Regulars and Reservists, Cadets and veterans past and present are being recognised. Approximately 4% of the population in prison are veterans and convictions primarily involved violence, within a short period following discharge. The majority of cases were drug or alcohol-related. A considerable number of...
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Prisons & Probation Ombudsman highlights urgent need to address rise in number of older prisoners

Thursday, June 29th 2017
The recently published Prisons & Probation Ombudsman Report on older offenders highlights the urgent need to address the dramatic rise in the number of older prisoners.  Nigel Newcomen CBE, Prisons & Probation Ombudsman, says in his Foreword: “One of the most marked changes in prisons in recent years has been the increase in the number of older prisoners.  This demographic shift has been dramatic.  As a result, the number of prisoners over 60 has tripled in 15 years and the...
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Good Practice Guides now available

Wednesday, June 28th 2017
RECOOP has been proud to manage a project, funded centrally by HMPPS, which was designed “To assess the need and ability of prisons and approved premises to adapt their regimes to meet the needs of older offenders” and we are delighted to announce the Good Practice Guides are now available. It became apparent during the life of the project, that there was already a great deal of good work being carried out with the older population.  Despite the absence of a national policy, coupled...
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The challenges facing older prisoners

Monday, June 26th 2017 - RECOOP
RECOOP was recently contacted by Amelia Hill, a journalist for the Guardian, who was writing a series of articles on older prisoners.  With our experience of working with older offenders, we were able to provide her with invaluable evidence and context around the work we do and challenges for this growing population and the prisons holding them. Paul Grainge, RECOOP Operations Manager, says: "RECOOP is really pleased that this is getting the attention it needs to highlight the difficulties for...
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Prisoners’ Advice Service (PAS) working with RECOOP

Tuesday, June 20th 2017 - Prisoners' Advice Service
PAS is a legal advice charity which advises serving prisoners on their rights (or the lack of them) within the prison system in England and Wales. As well as corresponding with prisoners and providing telephone advice, we carry out outreach visits to prisons. The majority of these are conducted in partnership with other NGOs already working within the prisons concerned and over the past few years we have developed a good working relationship with RECOOP at Leyhill, Eastwood Park, Manchester and Kirkham...
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Report on an unannounced inspection of HMP Eastwood Park by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons

Friday, June 9th 2017 - RECOOP
The HMIP Report, published on the 9th March 2017, highlights the work RECOOP is doing with the over 50s in HMP Eastwood Park: “In our survey, women aged over 50 were more positive about life at the prison than younger women.  RECOOP, a charity working for the care and resettlement of offenders, ran a popular group for older women four times a week.” “The provision for older women at EWP is very good.” The Rubies, a name the ladies originally chose for the group, is...
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Varied programme of activities at The Lobster Pot

Wednesday, May 31st 2017 - Jon Cook
The Lobster Pot (Day Centre for the over 50s at HMP Leyhill run by RECOOP) was delighted to have Mel Pritchard (Success Coach & Trainer - Mental Health First Aid Instructor: Adult & 'Life'  - www.linkedin.com/in/melanie-pritchard-555b6a96/o ) run a session at the Lobster Pot covering : Short guided meditation What causes stress and how the brain works (the stress bucket - and exercise to unload your stresses on paper) What meditation is (including a quick verbal quiz) The...
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The important role of Guest Speakers

Thursday, April 13th 2017 - RECOOP
Guest speakers form an important part of the activities organised by RECOOP in the various prisons in which we work. Bristol Mind recently visited the Lobster Pot at HMP Leyhill when the men were given the opportunity to discuss their views on the stigma attached to mental health.  So successful was the visit, that Mind requested to return to speak more about the services it can offer, both locally and nationally.  It also suggested visiting on a quarterly basis so that new arrivals can be...
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The Lobster Pot – “an excellent resource”

Thursday, February 23rd 2017 - RECOOP
The HMIP report on their unannounced inspection of HMP Leyhill in September 2016, has recently been published.  RECOOP has run a Day Centre there (The Lobster Pot) for the past nine years and the increase in footfall not only reflects the increase in the number of older prisoners at Leyhill, but also its success in providing a centre for the over-50s, encouraging purposeful activity and social interaction, with all activities geared towards the nine pathways of reducing reoffending.  This ensures...
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RECOOP to support The Brookdale Centre for Healthy Aging and The Osbourne Project in New York

Thursday, January 19th 2017 - RECOOP
RECOOP is pleased to announce that it has been successful, as part of an international funding application, in securing funding to provide some consultancy support in New York over the next year.  RECOOP will support The Brookdale Centre for Healthy Aging (City University of New York) and The Osbourne Association - a charity supporting offenders in the community across the state.  The project will aim to ‘Build healthy communities through conscious resettlement of older adults recently...
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In-cell Activity Packs

Thursday, January 12th 2017
RECOOP has been working with older prisoners and ex-offenders for over ten years and recognises the importance of keeping active, not only physically, but mentally.  The stark reality is, with current pressures across the whole of the prison estate, prisoners are confined to cell more regularly and, with this in mind, an In-cell Activity Pack has been developed, called “food for thought”. The festive issue was sent to HMP members in December and the feedback we received has been very...
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‘Achieving Better Outcomes’

Tuesday, December 13th 2016 - Jane Wilkes, RECOOP
RECOOP has used its learning from the recently completed NOMS-funded research project (“To assess the need and ability of prisons and Approved Premises to adapt their regimes to meet the needs of older offenders”) in order to further develop our staff training and awareness raising sessions. We have developed ‘Achieving Better Outcomes’ training to enable the sessions to meet the needs of those who work with older people within the criminal justice system, whether it be in...
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RECOOP invited to work at an Immigration Removal Centre

Friday, December 2nd 2016 - Sandra Seldon - Project Co-ordinator
I had thought that my work at HMP The Verne had come to an end when the prison closed in 2013 and prepared for its new role as an IRC.   The prison used to be a Category C men’s prison, located within the historic Verne Citadel on the Isle of Portland in Dorset.  The prison, having opened in 1949 and built on the highest point of Portland, is surrounded by cliffs and a moat with entrances via a footbridge and one via a tunnel. The prison was converted into an Immigration Removal...
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"We Are All Human"

Thursday, November 17th 2016 - RECOOP
A piece of art created by a RECOOP Buddy Support Worker at HMP Exeter was selected to be exhibited at the UK’s annual national showcase of arts at The Southbank Centre, London.
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Farmer Review

Tuesday, November 1st 2016 - RECOOP/BCHA
RECOOP/BCHA provide evidence to Clinks based on their experience and expertise of working both within prisons and in the community.
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100% success rate for Healthy Eating & Living in Prison Programme at HMP Send

Tuesday, October 25th 2016
HELP (Healthy Eating & Living in Prison) is a programme developed by RECOOP that aims to introduce prisoners to safe and structured exercise, whilst encouraging and supporting them to achieve their goals. The 6-week healthy weight and exercise programme is appropriate for people of any age or ability whilst in a custodial setting.  Group based sessions can be delivered weekly by a member of prison or gym staff using our Weight Management & Exercise programme. The objective is to help...
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Buddy Scheme highlighted as example of good practice

Thursday, October 6th 2016 - RECOOP
RECOOP's Devon Buddy Scheme has been included as an example of good practice in the recent "Seeing prisoners as Assets" resource published by ADASS in September 2016.
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RECOOP and the Buddy Support Scheme is highlighted as an example of excellence in IMB yearly report

Tuesday, August 16th 2016 - RECOOP
Selected prisoners in the 3 Devon prisons are trained by RECOOP in 14 modules, based on the National Care Standards, to support their fellow inmates who have social care needs.
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Fine Cell Work and RECOOP collaborate at HMP Leyhill

Monday, August 8th 2016 - RECOOP
Innovative project that offers new skills, reduces isolation, increases self-esteem and a deeper sense of self-worth flourishes at HMP Leyhill.
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"An inspiring example of the support that older prisoners badly need."

Monday, July 18th 2016 - Ryan Harman, Prison Reform Trust
Ryan Harman, Advice & Information Manager at the Prison Reform Trust, writes about his recent visit to the Lobster Pot at HMP Leyhill.
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Prisoners' Advice Service

Friday, July 8th 2016 - RECOOP
The Prisoners’ Advice Service is a frequent and valued visitor to the various groups run by RECOOP for the over 50s.
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High Sherriff's of Gloucestershire & Somerset visit Lobster Pot

Tuesday, June 14th 2016 - Jon Cook
The RECOOP team at HMP Leyhill was privileged to show off its work to the High Sherriff’s of Gloucestershire & Somerset.  Gloucestershire’s High Sherriff, The Countess Bathurst was accompanied by her husband The Earl Bathurst and Somerset’s High Sherriff Edward Bayntun-Coward.  They spent time talking to the team about the work RECOOP undertakes supporting the prison’s older population and the emotional and practical support offered.  Both High Sherriff’s...
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Interview with Volunteer Orderly at HMP Eastwood Park

Thursday, May 26th 2016 - RECOOP
Volunteers working within the groups run by RECOOP play an invaluable role. We interviewed a young Orderly who had spent some time with The Rubies (over 50s group at HMP Eastwood Park). Her answers are both revealing and touching.
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"Giving women a sense of meaning, pride and self-worth... aiding post-prison life"

Friday, May 6th 2016 - RECOOP
Stroud Youth Initiative recently invited Alma Hageman (RECOOP Project Worker at HMP Eastwood Park) to speak at a Youth Conference.
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RECOOP's Older Prisoner Forums used as a Case Study by Clinks

Tuesday, April 26th 2016
RECOOP is proud to be part of a new Good Practice Guide, recently published by Clinks, on ?Service-user involvement?.
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Zero-cost initiative at HMP Leyhill

Tuesday, April 19th 2016 - Jon Cook
The RECOOP staff at HMP Leyhill are fortunate that the prison allocated them a small plot of land next to the Lobster Pot (group for the over 50s run by RECOOP) and the team has set about converting this plot into small allotments.  Using the enthusiasm and skills of seven younger offenders they have created an excellent facility of 14 plots, including ten small raised beds for the prison’s older men and those with disabilities, so that all can enjoy some gardening.  In creating the...
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  • Aldo Trust grant helps support prisoners directly via RECOOP https://t.co/bwhiVuGPQQ9:10am, Oct 15, 2018
  • RECOOP & @DevonCC nominated for Creative & Innovative Social Work Practice Award in recognition of their invaluable… https://t.co/B39v7N604A9:35am, Oct 01, 2018
  • RECOOP wins Innovation Wessex funding to develop' Transition' Resettlement Training course for community delivery https://t.co/lpYxiDZeRz11:21am, Sep 25, 2018
  • Rubies at HMP Eastwood Park win numerous @KoestlerTrust awards and selected to exhibit at #ImStillHere Southbank ex… https://t.co/NlyCKiWPPG9:55am, Sep 17, 2018
  • Healthy Eating & Living in Prison programme helps address the issues around poor food choices and lack of exercise… https://t.co/qRnkXFAxz812:10pm, Aug 15, 2018
  • @recoop UK wins back contract to deliver Day Centre services at HMP Eastwood Park https://t.co/83AypyV22h10:37am, Jul 19, 2018
  • Innovative solution to help AP residents get to appointments/ interviews/work with the help of local Police Lost Pr… https://t.co/ItPzC987UQ9:31am, Jul 12, 2018
  • RECOOP delighted to be working with @SSAFA, recent recipient of the Queens Award for Voluntary Service, on Armed Fo… https://t.co/46Sq1IONbZ9:35am, Jun 19, 2018
  • RECOOP's Transition 50+ Resettlement: "A course to be remembered with a real sense of pride and accomplishment" https://t.co/Gu13nwQKEz10:15am, May 15, 2018
  • Service-user highlights benefits of RECOOP Day Centre where they "gain valuable mental stimulation helping to sharp… https://t.co/hx6CLoSsmu10:31am, May 10, 2018
Monday, October 15th 2018
The Aldo Trust has generously supported RECOOP with a grant of £1000 to be used to assist individual prisoners with small grants in order to buy resources to help them make their period of incarceration a little more comfortable.  We are working...
RECOOP projects win Platinum Award 2014 & 2015