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News

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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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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Wednesday, May 20th 2020
The Aldo Trust has once again generously supported RECOOP with a grant of £1,000 allowing us to offer individual grants of up to £25 per individual to help them purchase something to pass the time and keep themselves occupied during this challe...
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