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Dementia-friendly prisons to be included in expansion programme

Monday, November 18th 2019 - The Times
With the number of prisoners in England & Wales aged 50+ increasing from 7,548 in 2009 to 13,890 as at the end of September 2019 (an increase of 80%) [MOJ], so too do the issues faced by the prisons on how best to accommodate their particular needs. A recent article in The Times (11th November) highlighted the MOJ’s recognition of the fact that older prisoners have specific needs which need to be addressed and which have “led to improvements in the design of new prisons at Wellingborough...
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Over 3,000 Resources downloaded

Wednesday, October 23rd 2019
On the 12th July 2012 RECOOP launched its Resource Library enabling Members free access to a wealth of resources aimed at the ever-growing older prisoner population. Since then, just over 3,000 resources have been downloaded ranging from Health Posters, Care Act Leaflets, Session Plans including quizzes, information on establishing and running Older Forums and our Good Practice Guides. If you are not already a Member and would like to register, you can do soRead More

Sharing information with Hong Kong delegates

Wednesday, October 16th 2019
In July, RECOOP was contacted by The Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention in Hong Kong (SRACP), a government recognised charitable organisation established in 1957.  SRACP provides a rehabilitation service for offenders and discharged prisoners in Hong Kong (HK) and, in recent years, has developed a social enterprise to support their service-users and families in order to start a new life. Having heard about RECOOP’s work and with a growing older prisoner population in HK, they were...
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The Impact of Buddy Support

Tuesday, October 8th 2019
“Any prisoner providing social care support to another prisoner should be appropriately selected, trained and supervised.”
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Unannounced inspection of HMP Eastwood Park highlights value of support provided by RECOOP

Friday, September 6th 2019
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons is an independent, statutory organisation which reports on the treatment and conditions of those detained in prisons, young offender institutions, secure training centres, immigration detention facilities, police and court custody and military detention.  The unannounced inspection of HMP Eastwood Park, a women’s prison in Gloucestershire, took place in May of this year and its report has recently been published, with the work of RECOOP’s Day...
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Doing time: Britain's ageing prison population

Thursday, August 22nd 2019 - Reader's Digest
The Reader's Digest has recently published an article following their investigation into whether “Britain’s prisons are ready to cope with the reality of our ageing inmates”. The article highlights the severe lack of provision for the increasing ageing prison population in many of the UK’s prisons following interviews conducted with Peter Clarke (Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons), the Prison Reform Trust,  Dr Amanda Brown (GP at HMP Bronzefield) and...
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RECOOP welcomes Community First

Friday, August 2nd 2019
RECOOP guests, Katrina Watson and Clara Hickman from Community First, spent the day in one of the prisons in which we work delivering an 'Introduction to Community Organising Training'  (an accredited course) to 13 prisoners due to be released within the year. “What a fantastic group they were – engaged and enthusiastic throughout the day”.   The talking photos (photographs/pictures chosen by individuals from a random selection which they then talk about why they...
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Care UK/HMP Dartmoor and the Buddy Support Workers receive HSJ Patient Safety End of Life Award 2019

Thursday, July 18th 2019
RECOOP is delighted to announce that Care UK/HMP Dartmoor have been awarded the End of Life Award.
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Robert Buckland QC MP visits RECOOP’s project, the Lobster Pot, at HMP Leyhill

Monday, July 8th 2019
He was delighted to learn about our excellent work both in the prison and in support of our residents when they leave prison.  Robert enjoyed the hospitality on offer at the Pot and understood the importance of ‘charity’ in a custodial setting. His visit follows hot on the heels of his colleague David Gauke.

Successful first Dementia Awareness Day held at HMP Leyhill

Friday, July 5th 2019
RECOOP was happy to host the first ‘Dementia Awareness Day’ at the Lobster Pot in HMP Leyhill, on the 20th June. In association with Alzheimer’s Society and the Healthcare Department, RECOOP hosted an informal event in which both staff and residents could learn more about dementia, its sign and symptoms and the support available at HMP Leyhill.  With external guests from HMP Eastwood Park and dementia friendly gardening groups, there was a range of information available. The day...
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Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, David Gauke, visits Lobster Pot

Tuesday, July 2nd 2019
The RECOOP team at the Lobster Pot (HMP Leyhill) was delighted to receive a visit from the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, David Gauke on the 27th June. He was able to learn the valuable work undertaken by the team, both in terms of support of the prison’s work and importantly, the rehabilitation and resettlement of the residents of the prison. Accompanied by the prison’s Governor, Neil Lavis and Deputy Governor, Ray Johnson, they were able to reaffirm how important...
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RECOOP awarded grant by Esmee Fairbairn Foundation

Wednesday, May 22nd 2019 - Paul Grainge
RECOOP has been successful in its application to the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation to fund some new development work to help even more older service-users across the country. RECOOP has received funding over three years to develop a suite of commercial services, training and interventions to offer to Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service in order to help them best support the differing needs of those they are managing who are aged over 50. The over-arching aim of RECOOP is to reduce...
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New strategy needed for older offenders

Tuesday, April 16th 2019 - BCHA
Press Release written by Deep South Media
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“Flexibility is vital”

Monday, April 1st 2019
Clinks report on the role and value of the voluntary sector in supporting older people in the criminal justice system.
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Testing the benefits of the Transition Resettlement Programme to AP Residents

Monday, March 18th 2019
Transition is a short Resettlement Programme designed specifically for those who are over the age of 50 and in a custodial setting. The Programme has been delivered in a number of prisons across England on a quarterly or bi-monthly basis. We’ve recently taken the programme into Approved Premises on a pilot basis to test what the benefits were to Residents.  The Programme includes sessions which focus on the needs of older people on release and include  planning for retirement,...
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'A Different Sense of Time'

Tuesday, February 19th 2019
RECOOP has just published ‘A Different Sense of Time’, a publication which outlines its range of age-appropriate (50+) services to aid prisons find suitable regime adaptations for their growing older population.  Many older prisoners have complex needs including sensory impairments, multiple healthcare needs, disabilities and poor mobility and are more likely to be retired and need meaningful activity and social connections. In many cases, older prisoners, who may be serving life...
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Over 34,000 individual visits made to RECOOP’s Day Centres in 2018

Wednesday, February 6th 2019
Like all charities, we collect numerous statistics throughout the year in order to highlight the importance of the service we offer.  RECOOP has run Day Centres for the over 50s in five prisons throughout 2018 and in that period: 34,205 individual visits were made;   by 639 unique users; 1,313 prisoner volunteer hours have been worked by 131 prisoners;  433 external volunteer hours worked by 166 volunteers.  All groups address the 9 Pathways to reduce re-offending in a...
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RECOOP's Distraction Packs address the need for prisoners to access stimulating in-cell activity

Wednesday, January 23rd 2019
The concluding paragraph of ‘Life in Prison: living conditions’, a findings paper by HM Inspectorate of Prisons (October 2017), says: “When confined to their cells it is important that prisoners can access stimulating in-cell activities to help them pass the time constructively.  However, sometimes access to such activities is limited: prisoners may not be able to access the library or other education opportunities, or may not have the means to purchase craft materials, and so...
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‘Transition’ Resettlement course developed for community delivery

Wednesday, January 2nd 2019
In September 2018, RECOOP announced it had won funding from Innovation Wessex to develop its ‘Transition’ Resettlement course for community delivery and the team used the funding to trial the programme in a number of National Probation Service Approved Premises in the South West. The programme includes sessions on planning for retirement, independent living skills, technology, building new community networks of support, volunteering, benefits, pensions, health, well-being and disclosure....
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RECOOP and the Lobster Pot

Tuesday, December 18th 2018
RECOOP has been awarded a further 3-year contract to continue to provide Day Centre provision for the over 50’s at HMP Leyhill
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Remembrance Day in HMP Dartmoor 2018

Tuesday, November 27th 2018 - Liz Ropschitz
“Most special of Remembrance Ceremonies” – Prisoner and Royal Navy Veteran
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Gaining invaluable skills

Tuesday, November 20th 2018 - RECOOP
Cooking sessions that take place at the Lobster Pot (over 50s Day Centre at HMP Leyhill) are just one of the invaluable ways RECOOP helps the men prepare for life post release.   We were therefore delighted to receive news from an ex-resident that his determination and efforts have paid off and he is currently using his new-found skills on the outside.
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Social care in prisons in England & Wales - A Thematic Report

Wednesday, October 24th 2018
This recently published thematic report,  has been jointly undertaken by HM Inspectorate of Prisons and the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. It monitors, inspects and regulates services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety. In its introduction, the Report says: “Even the most psychologically robust and able-bodied man or woman finds being imprisoned to be a disturbing experience. And for those...
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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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Monday, November 18th 2019
With the number of prisoners in England & Wales aged 50+ increasing from 7,548 in 2009 to 13,890 as at the end of September 2019 (an increase of 80%) [MOJ], so too do the issues faced by the prisons on how best to accommodate their particular needs. ...
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