A CHARITY, which helps former offenders to resettle into the Warwickshire community has been given a £10,000 boost.
Rugby-based Futures Unlocked provides 1-1 mentoring for individuals leaving the prison system, many who have few or no existing support networks. The charity’s ultimate aim is to turn their lives around and steer them away from further offending.
And Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe has supported the charity by donating the funds through his Reducing Re-offending Grants Scheme.
He said: “Having people locked into a cycle of crime is of no benefit to anyone and the mentoring provided by Futures Unlocked gives a real opportunity for those coming out of the prison system to successfully settle back into the community and lead productive and crime-free lives.
“Ultimately, that means fewer lives being blighted by crime in the future, not to mention the benefits for the taxpayer of not having the same people coming through the criminal justice system time and again.”
Case referrals mostly come from the National Probation Service, often for those who have served sentences for murder, robbery and serious sexual offences.
The charity supports more than 100 clients a year by helping them access accommodation and benefits, attending probation appointments, registering with a GP and getting help for substance misuse problems. They can also receive support around family matters and get assistance to help them work towards education and employment.
Mick, a client who had a long history of offending to feed a drug habit, was able to turn his life around with help from the charity.
He said: “I do not know what I would have done without Futures Unlocked. They got me my own accommodation – getting money for the deposit and rent – and supported me while I found work. They even got me some pots and pans and a blow-up bed. They also got me a provisional driving license.
“Because I was settled, I moved from agency work with a company to their full-time staff. For the first time in a long time I really enjoy life. I have steered clear of drugs and I am very thankful for all that Futures Unlocked have been able to do for me.”
Visit www.futuresunlocked.org for volunteering opportunities and more details about the charity.