Ex-offenders empowered to change their ways – and lives
EX-OFFENDERS are changing their lives by picking up tools and hammering their way through learning a trade.
Through a volunteering and work experience scheme, those involved are renovating buildings in Dudley Street, Grimsby, and other areas of North East Lincolnshire.
The Empower Scheme, which is funded by the North East Lincolnshire Change Programme, provides mentoring and gives former criminals the skills they need to get employed.
Those on the scheme's Hands On course learn a variety of construction skills, including health and safety, as well as gaining practical on-site experience.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
Empower programme co-ordinator Debbie Woodward said: "Empower is an employability mentoring programme which works to get people with criminal records back to work.
"The whole point is to give them training and skills they can use.
"When people first come on the Hands On course, they come from working with a mentor and, to begin with, do 16 hours a week of voluntary work experience.
"Once they have demonstrated commitment and hard work they then could be offered 16 hours paid work on top of the voluntary hours they do.
"For some people, this work changes lives."
Service user Steph Milner, 32, of Armstrong Street, Grimsby, added: "I was volunteering but now get paid for part time hours. I moved to the area in January after being in and out of prison for the past 13 years.
"In the past I have had problems with drugs but the course is providing me with some stability."
Fellow service user Jenna Howie, 27, of Hart Street, Cleethorpes, said: "I have been to prison for attempted arson. I came out in March and I got referred onto the course.
"Learning these skills has set me up for life.
"Empower also helps you tackle other issues and for me it was binge drinking.
"Doing the work experience here has really paid off for me.
"The course will run until January and I hope they ask me to stay on."
Mark Drewry, 25, of Beverley Crescent, Grimsby, added: "I have been volunteering for four weeks now.
"I am doing it to learn more and try to get a job.
"This is a new start for me after being in and out of jail since I was 15."
Empower site and work supervisor Ray Blades said: "The guys that we work with have the potential to grow and change their lives.
"They are all doing very well and it is good to see them all keen and enthusiastic.
The Grimsby Telegraph's Your Life: Your Future campaign is trying to find work experience placements for students at the Grimsby Institute and people on the Change Programme.
If you could offer a placement, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01472 372236.