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RECOOP Staff

Liz Ropschitz MBE

  • Position: Project Co-ordinator - Devon & Cornwall

I work with prisoners over the age of 50 in the 3 prisons in Devon, HMP Exeter, HMP Dartmoor and HMP Channings Wood helping to meet the health and social care needs of the older offender through promoting positive health and well being and by improving the prisoners awareness of health issues, especially those affecting the older person.

During 2009 and 2010, working closely with the prison diversity staff and NHS Devon SW Health Trainer Partnership, we successfully implemented a Pilot Health Trainer Initiative in the Devon Prisons by delivering RSPH training to prisoners, prison staff and supportive ACOOP volunteers.

This training has enabled us to:

  • Train 19 prisoners, over the age of 50 to be Health Champions whom the inmates have direct access to for support. This may be support in making positive health behaviour changes or a gym mentor to assist the less able to attend the over 50’s gym sessions.
  • Establish a weekly evening healthy living drop-in looking at the key health messages, nutrition, weight awareness, diet, exercise, smoking and tools for behaviour change.
  • Host regular health and social care related speakers for prisoners over 50 e.g. Prostate cancer, stress management, self motivation and physical health education
  • Provide exercise and fitness sessions for outdoor and in cell activity
  • Establishing over 50’s forums have been a huge success, providing prisoners with a service user network that is both independent and democratic. Training to be active members is provided and regular speakers offer advice and information on various topics including pensions and benefits, housing, health issues, community organisations and services that may assist reintegration into main stream society, promoting active citizenship and reducing social isolation.

As members of BCHA family of companies, we now have the added benefit of their expertise in working with vulnerable people and this support will assist us to continue to expand our work into the community, identifying sustainable support systems, networks and services for older ex-offenders and their families. Through working with this wider partnership we will aim to help ex offenders successfully resettle into the community reducing re-offending and contributing to a safe community environment.



 

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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 ...
RECOOP projects win Platinum Award 2014 & 2015