Turning Their Lives Around

A three-year grant awarded to  the Sefton CVS Merseyside Offender Mentoring project has helped dozens of young people “turn their lives around”, according to the Project Manager.

The Steve Morgan Foundation donated £75,000 to help with the core costs of the Mentoring project over the last three years, focused particularly on the Under-25 age group.

The project works across Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral and St Helens, aiming to engage with offenders and ex-offenders to provide them with support and hope for their future to prevent them re-offending.

“On behalf of the young people we have supported, we would like to thank the Trustees for funding this vital project,” said Project Manager Sue Holden.

“Without this we would not have been able to have supported 70 young people, aged between 18 and 25, to turn their lives around.

“Of the 70 young people supported, 84% reduced or ceased offending during the period of the project, with only 16% returning to prison, compared with a national re-offending rate for adults being 44% as at April 2017.

“We have also during the period of the project recruited and trained 132 volunteer community mentors who have given their time freely to support these vulnerable young people to turn away from crime and become positive citizens making our communities safer.”

Project workers regularly meet young people whilst they are serving their prison sentences to build up positive relationships and identify the support they will require upon their release.

This work is crucial to ensuring the right services are available to the young person at the earliest opportunity upon their release, helping them to positively re-integrate back into the local community with the aim of reducing re-offending.

Volunteer mentors are also assigned to each young person upon their release, meeting them on a weekly basis, whilst additional support can be sought for those who find themselves homeless or dealing with other difficulties.

Feedback from the young people about the Mentoring Project has been extremely positive.

“I am very grateful for the mentor working with me and appreciated every second of the time they have spent supporting me,” said one of those young people.

“I take everything they say on board and see them as a role model.”

Others cited practical support such as being able to retain their tenancy, help with their gas and electric supplies, and support on benefits claims and attending appointments and interviews.

“This helped me to get an apprenticeship in recycling,” they added.

The Sefton CVS Merseyside Offender Mentoring project is now seeking additional funding to try and step up their support of more people from the local community.

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