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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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HMP Dartmoor's Over 50's forum

Thursday, March 31st 2016 - RECOOP
HMP Dartmoor's Over 50's forum, established and supported by RECOOP in Devon, has been identified as one of six examples of good practice in service user involvement by the voluntary sector in collaboration with criminal justice partners.
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Older Women Prisoners and the Rubies Project

Tuesday, February 23rd 2016 - Jill Annison
RECOOP ex-trustee, Jill Annison and Alma Hageman, RECOOP Project Worker at HMP Eastwood Park, co-write a chapter for the recently published book: "Women and Criminal Justice: From the Corston Report to Transforming Rehabilitation".
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Liz Ropschitz, RECOOP Mental Health Co-ordinator, receives her MBE from Prince Charles

Friday, February 5th 2016 - RECOOP
Liz Ropschitz, RECOOP Mental Health Co-ordinator working in the Devon Prison Cluster, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen?s Birthday Honours List for her work with older offenders.
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Approaching 30,000 individual visits made to RECOOP groups in 2015

Wednesday, January 27th 2016
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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Implementing the Care Act 2014: Care Options for Older Prisoners

Tuesday, January 12th 2016 - Cambridge Institute of Public Health
The health and social care of older prisoners in the UK is becoming an increasing challenge, with increasingly high incidences of prisoners suffering long term conditions....
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Volunteering for RECOOP at HMP Guys Marsh

Wednesday, January 6th 2016 - Sandra Seldon - RECOOP
Shaftesbury Arts Centre Director and Assistant Director win award for their volunteering work with RECOOP.
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The Lobster Pot welcomed visitors from other HMPs and the Prisons & Probation Ombudsman

Tuesday, December 15th 2015 - Jon Cook
We were delighted to entertain The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, Nigel Newcomen CBE, for a short while on his visit around HMP Leyhill on 24th November. He was shown around the prison by Tim Knight, Acting Governor and his team and came to the Lobster Pot (a dedicated day centre for the over 50s run by RECOOP) to see at first hand the excellent work happening for older men at the prison. We were also delighted to recently have HMP Grendon accept our invitation to talk about its world of therapeutic...
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Lobster Pot - offering vital tools in preparation for release.

Thursday, December 3rd 2015 - RECOOP
Since the beginning of this year to the end October the Lobster Pot, a dedicated day centre for the over 50s at HMP Leyhill run by RECOOP, has welcomed over 243 prisoners and a staggering 20,000+ visits. Occupying time of the older prisoner population is always a problem.  Too old to be in employment and some too frail to take part in other organised activities within the prison, many are left in their cells for too much of their time. The Lobster Pot has attracted so many visits because it...
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Celebrating Black History Month

Wednesday, November 4th 2015 - RECOOP
A multitude of activities and guest speakers were arranged by the various RECOOP teams working within prisons during Black History Month, prompting much discussion and interaction.
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IMB Report - HMP Leyhill

Wednesday, October 14th 2015 - RECOOP
IMB report on HMP Leyhill describes the Lobster Pot as an inspiring pace-setter in responding to the special needs of the older prisoner.
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Disability Adaptations - HMP Drake Hall

Tuesday, October 6th 2015 - Jane Wilkes
Service-user consultations help to ensure people with disabilities or mobility issues can be comfortably accommodated at HMP Drake Hall.
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"Rubies" creative project wins Koestler Platinum Award

Thursday, September 3rd 2015 - Alma Hageman
The ?Rubies? at HMP Eastwood Park have received a Koestler Platinum Award, for their wall hanging inspired by ?A Journey through the Seasons?.
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First 6 prisoners trained by RECOOP qualify as Buddy Support Workers

Monday, August 17th 2015
Buddy Training Course, adapted by Devon County Council and supported by RECOOP has been delivered in the Devon Prison Cluster.
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The art of conversation suffers for those who have lived for years in a prison environment

Tuesday, July 28th 2015 - Prisoner at HMP Leyhill
During the four years I’ve been at HMP Leyhill, I’ve had the advantage of being part of the Lobster Pot as it continues to evolve as an effective element in the rehabilitation and resettlement of older, long-term prisoners.  Each of us has different needs and the RECOOP staff, in partnership with prison staff and prisoners’ involvement, continues to work to meet them.  It complements what the prison offers by way of preparing older prisoners for life after release in more ways...
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NOMS contract awarded to RECOOP

Wednesday, July 22nd 2015 - RECOOP
to assess the need and ability of prisons and approved premises to adapt their regimes to meet the needs of older offenders.
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Volunteering Project HMP Guy's Marsh 2014/15

Friday, July 3rd 2015 - Sandra Seldon
Volunteering Project proves to be a great success, enabling people to gain new skills, develop team building skills and a more positive opinion of how volunteering could be of benefit, not only whilst in prison, but when released.
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Prisoners? Advice Service session held at the Lobster Pot, HMPLeyhill

Wednesday, June 24th 2015
The Lobster Pot at HMP Leyhill (the drop-in centre for the over 50’s run by RECOOP) hosted a session from the Prisoners’ Advice Service (PAS) and such was its success, another has been scheduled in July. PAS is the only independent registered charity offering free legal advice and support to adult prisoners in England and Wales regarding their rights, conditions of imprisonment and the application of the Prison Rules.  They pursue prisoner’s complaints about their treatment in...
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Busy month for the Lobster Pot at HMP Leyhill.

Monday, May 18th 2015 - RECOOP
The Lobster Pot, a “Drop in Centre” for Leyhill’s over 50 population has been run by RECOOP for the prison for a number of years. It is a multi-faceted centre, with the aim to encourage purposeful activity and social interaction, ensuring the older prisoners develop life skills that will help them live a positive life either inside or outside prison. Our team at The Lobster Pot work closely with all parts of the prison to deliver relevant and current sessions to the prisoners. In...
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Tackling Inequality

Tuesday, May 12th 2015 - RECOOP
RECOOP featured in Clinks "Tackling Inequality in the CJS" Seminar Report.
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Award for RECOOP Project Worker

Wednesday, April 22nd 2015 - RECOOP
Alma Hageman (RECOOP Project Worker at HMP Eastwood Park) was nominated for an Annual Prison Officer Award, in the Equalities category, within prisons in the South West region. These awards are primarily for Prison Officers so especially pleasing to have a RECOOP member of staff recognised in this way.  Alma was shortlisted to the final when she attended HMP Erlestoke on 18th March 2015 for the awards ceremony. The Deputy Director of Custody, Andy Rogers, presented the awards where Alma was...
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Care Act 2014

Wednesday, April 15th 2015 - Tracy Eadie
RECOOP, on behalf of the Department of Health and NOMS, has developed and produced a suite of leaflets which will ensure that prisoners, custody staff and others are aware of prisoner?s rights to care and support
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RECOOP opens new Support Cafe in Manchester

Monday, March 9th 2015 - Tracy Eadie
RECOOP is looking to join up its resettlement pre-release work being delivered in the prisons, with a community service based on the need and research from older offenders residing in the community.  Working with Co-operative and Mutual Solutions (CMS) in the North West, we are pleased to announce the opening of a new Community Support Café service at The Mustard Tree in Ancoats, Manchester.  The Café, offering a rolling 6 week programme, will be open to male and female offenders,...
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"Learning to cater for myself is a skill for life".

Tuesday, February 24th 2015 - Liz Ropschitz
A RECOOP volunteer and prison leavers comment on the training kitchen and life skills work in the Community Rehabilitation Support Caf? in Plymouth.
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Lobster Pot coffee morning

Thursday, February 12th 2015 - Jon Cook
To encourage social skills and improve relations, a coffee morning was held at HMP Leyhill for prison staff and offenders.
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Exciting new venture at HMP Stafford

Friday, December 5th 2014 - Jane Wilkes
HMP Stafford recognises the need to introduce age-specific activity to motivate their older prisoner population and links up with RECOOP.
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Creating a Mosaic

Thursday, November 20th 2014 - Alma Hageman
The Rubies at HMP Eastwood Park create a second mosaic - ?It was like putting my fragmented life back together again?.
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KOESTLER PLATINUM and COMMENDED AWARDS received by The Rubies at HMP Eastwood Park

Wednesday, November 5th 2014 - Alma Hageman
Creativity of RECOOP group "The Rubies" is given deserved recognition by the Koestler Trust.
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A Walk around the Conservation Area at HMP Leyhill

Wednesday, October 8th 2014 - RECOOP Ex-service user
RECOOP organises a woodland walk for the Lobster Pot (Centre for the over 50s at HMP Leyhill).
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Old age behind bars

Thursday, October 2nd 2014 - Penal Reform International
Old age behind bars:  how can prisons adapt to the needs of increasingly elderly populations?  Penal Reform International highlights the fact that countries around the world struggle with similar problems of a growing older prison population as we do in the UK.  Read their full report here.

An Oasis of Calm and Tranquillity

Tuesday, September 23rd 2014 - Gov Simon Beecroft, HMP Eastwood Park
"Having attended the Rubies group, facilitated by Alma from RECOOP; I can say without reservation that the value of facilitating a meeting place for older women in a quiet and reflective environment is enormous".
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RECOOP provides "a life line for anyone who wants to get their life back on track again".

Wednesday, August 27th 2014 - Liz Ropschitz
A RECOOP volunteer and prison leavers comment on the Training Kitchen and Life Skills work in the Community Rehabilitation Support Caf? in Plymouth.
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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...
RECOOP projects win Platinum Award 2014 & 2015