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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 education and training - excluding them from finding better opportunities after release. With support and collaboration from our partners within the Shaw Trust delivery framework, we provide workshops and targeted support for individuals in custody and within a number of community settings.

We currently work in HMPs Portland and Dartmoor and in the community in Yeovil, Bournemouth and Plymouth.  To support every offender on the programme, a Case Manager works with each individual to guide them and provide advice and support. Participants are also offered accredited personal development and vocational courses.

The first Traffic Management Course (TMC), was recently held in Yeovil and proved very successful, with six participants attending and passing the course with a minimum score of 95%.   TMC oversees the health and safety of road works - with day one covering rural roads and day two concentrating on highways.  A Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) Highways Card is issued on completion of the course.

Five of the participants were referred for interview and secured employment.  Three participants started work immediately after the course and are enjoying their work, feeling elated and reinvigorated with their pride and self-esteem restored.

This CSCS course is proving to be really popular and running well. We’ve a waiting list of 20 participants.

The contract case load is at full capacity with a waiting list and steady stream of referrals from National Probation Service (NPS) and Working Links - Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC).


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