First Day Portacabin 1024x577 - Prisoner Training & Placements


I’ve been rummaging around this week, sorting out old files and I found something from 2011 that I thought you may be interested in. A basic plan of what a day at LandWorks was going to look like (it was difficult to get folk interested when it was just an idea in my head).

Guess what? Not a great deal has fundamentally altered from that initial plan. Woodwork, veg growing, cooking, and eating together, all surrounded by personal development stuff about improving well-being, teamwork, and even some counselling.

Looking back, it’s 8 years since we opened, when 4 men (3-day release prisoners and 1 man from probation) and me, opened the gate to Quarry Field. We had a donated but broken Portacabin (no roof), some old camping furniture from my shed, and a pot of paint from err… my shed.

First day… painting. We got sunburnt, ate soup and bread provided by the kitchens of Schumacher College, and talked about our lives.

It’s quite tempting to write (for dramatic effect) … God only knows what they thought, dumped in a field with no electricity, no roof, and a dribbling cold water tap, etc!

But I do know exactly what they thought, we are still in touch.

We are more or less in contact with everyone who has been here – over 150 placements now.

Back in 2012, the Ministry of Justice said (we asked the question) that their statistics showed we would not have any interaction once an offender had completed their time with us.

They were wrong, and although ongoing support was not on that first plan, it has proved to be one of the most important parts of all that we do. Long-term relationships are a critical part of long-term stability and thus successful resettlement.

So, we are just appointing a full-time Resettlement Manager (partly why I am sorting my papers, one would like to appear efficient) to continue to develop our resettlement offer for placements and longer-term support.

Would you like to come and see the recent developments at LandWorks, meet the team, perhaps learn more about long-term support (the British Academy has funded some research), even observe how tidy my office is looking?

Well, you can.

We intend to hold a supporters’ event on Friday, August the 20th, from 10 am until 12 noon.

And yes, their thoughts from that first day – they enjoyed it, eight years ago.


PS Please look out for a formal email invitation to the supporters’ day that should be going out to all our registered supporters over the next week or two. You will need to respond to the invitation to be able to attend the event. Thanks!

8th July 2021