Life-changing prisoner resettlement scheme is awarded independent Registered Charity status, with successful application opening new doors to fundraising opportunities

LandWorks, the groundbreaking prisoner resettlement scheme that helps ex-offenders find new lives without crime, has become a registered charity, marking an exciting new chapter in its development.

Since it was established in 2013, LandWorks has operated as a self-contained project within The Dartington Hall Trust, flourishing and evolving to the point where it can now operate as a fully independent charity.

LandWorks project manager Chris Parsons speaks at a supporters' event

LandWorks project manager Chris Parsons speaks at a supporters’ event

LandWorks has attracted unprecedented support from a combination of The Dartington Hall Trust and an ever-growing number of other organisations and individuals.

In its three years, LandWorks has enabled 26 current and former prisoners to find more purposeful lives away from crime, with 13 having found employment to date.

Its network of over 1,000 supporters, who are central to the scheme’s innovative model, also helped secure a grant from The Big Lottery Fund providing 60 per cent of the project’s funding for three years.

Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) status will allow LandWorks to build on these strong foundations, to access new sources of funding and further develop the training and resettlement services available to all trainees.

The application to the Charity Commission for Registered Charity status was made with the full support of the Trustees of The Dartington Hall Trust, whose CEO Rhodri Samuel said:

“The Dartington Hall Trust is extremely proud of its involvement in the development of LandWorks. It is a remarkable project and we are keen to enable the next steps in its evolution so it can build on its success. I know we will continue to work together to support our joint aspirations.”

To allow time for an orderly transition, LandWorks will operate as an independent charity from 1 May 2016. The project will continue to be based on the Dartington Hall estate, led and managed by Chris Parsons and his existing team. Says Chris:

“LandWorks has grown from a seed of an idea into a respected resettlement project and we are extremely grateful to The Dartington Hall Trust for its support and involvement. The team and I are greatly looking forward to our next chapter.”

A new CIO Trustee board has been created with Ted Tuppen CBE, a member of the LandWorks Advisory Board since its inception, becoming its Chairman and he will be joined in the first instance by social justice champion Celia Atherton OBE and long-standing supporter Sally Benthall. Says Tuppen:

“I look forward to entering a new era with this wonderfully inspiring project. Working with the team and its wide-ranging body of stakeholders, we’ll aim to give the best possible support and opportunities to all our trainees.”