Beyond Recovery CIC have worked with prisoners on their journey towards release since 2014 using their Three Principles model to improve mental health and bring behavioural change to many returning citizens.
However the reality of the in-prison Covid lockdown with prisoners kept in their cells for up to 23 hours a day presented a huge new challenge, their answer was to create activity packs bearing the key messages of their programme, which now is now distributed to over 50 prisons across the UK; and also to develop a COVID safe Distance Learning programme (DLP) which has been piloted at HMP Onley and is due to be rolled out at HMP’s Ranby and Nottingham.
Digital versions of this programme have now been developed for the probation service. Part of this new approach was to explore any other communication channels serving the prison population to meet the needs of its neurodiverse population.
To that end Beyond Recovery have been discussing the opportunity to create a show which would enhance the learners experience of the DLP with National Prison Radio.
It’s notable that Beyond Recovery’s DLP and the radio show are being produced by returning residents who now work with Beyond Recovery to deliver their programmes.
Having met with Prison Radio and received a very favourable response the team needed to source funding at a time when traditional options were unavailable to them however a conversation with a fellow member of the Corbett Network (a nationwide community of organisation committed to supporting the re-integration of people with convictions) provided them with a possible solution. The Charitable Incorporated Organisation division of the Goodwill Solutions Group was inviting submissions for small grants from organisations supporting key disadvantaged groups one of which was people with previous criminal convictions.
Goodwill Solutions CIC were already well known to Beyond Recovery as a Logistics Social Enterprise based in Northampton who had worked for many years to improve opportunities amongst their local community. In 2019 Jacqueline and Rob had met their CEO and facilitated a visit to HMP Onley so that he could personally see the impact their programs had on prisoners nearing release.
Though the lockdown meant that the application process was conducted online and via e-mail rather than face to face, in November Jacqueline and Rob finally presented their proposal to the Trustees of Goodwill Solutions CIO and quickly afterwards received the amazing news that they had been awarded a £5000 grant!
Jacqueline said “I’m delighted to have been successful with our application for this grant. I’ve long admired the work of Goodwill Solutions and hoped for a chance to collaborate. I feel the addition of a radio show to our Distance Learning Programmes will be super impactful for those residents who learn in different ways. I’m also excited because the programme will be created by people with lived experience, Derrick and Omar. Since working with them Beyond Recovery has a deeper understanding of the issues people face both whilst in custody and upon release. The added bonus is that the radio show will be available on NPR’s Streamline website for families and returning residents!”
Damian Pickard (Strategic Development Director) on behalf of Goodwill Solutions said “The Beyond Recovery program sounded like a great opportunity to increase engagement and support for prisoners adversely disadvantaged by the current in-cell lockdown and improve their overall wellbeing. The Trustees were very happy to support Jacqueline and Rob in this endeavour.”