“Chris mate…it’s all falling apart mate, I’ve just thrown the last nine months away, I think I’m going down”.

Countryfile visits LandWorks

Countryfile visits LandWorks

BBC Countryfile seems to have been a great success. The LandWorks guys they interviewed were quite brilliant. It was a really clear story about trying to change your life in this beautiful part of Britain, a place to think and reflect.

The response since has been overwhelmingly positive; many people understood these guys’ stories and have been offering help.

WATCH: BBC Countryfile reports on Dartington LandWorks

“I’ve ****** it up Chris, I’m frightened Chris mate, I can’t tell anyone, I’m in court on Friday.”

Friday, 19th of September was our second open day. An event to mark a year since our official launch, a chance to thank our supporters and showcase what everyone had achieved.

“I can’t come to the open day. If I don’t get put away, I’ll come to see you next week?”

Friday arrived; we have the most fantastic people involved with LandWorks. Wonderful people gave up their day to BBQ and help. They took time out from their busy lives to turn up and see this unique project and how it supports resettlement in our community.

More than this: the community seemed to want to show it was involved; it cared and could help these guys resettle.

“Chris, it wasn’t like the last time…****, I’ve made a mistake, I’ve been to see the guy I thumped and said sorry, really sorry.”

Nick Hardwick the HM Chief Inspector of Prisons (our esteemed guest) made a very good speech. He talked with deep understanding about the importance and the difficulties of resettlement.

HM Chief Inspector of Prison, Nick Hardwick, speaks at LandWorks

HM Chief Inspector of Prison, Nick Hardwick, speaks at LandWorks

It would never be straightforward, there would always be setbacks. He said LandWorks treated men as fellow humans, allowed them space to reflect, start to make amends and start to make better choices. But it all takes time.

4.46pm, everyone’s gone home, my phone rings…the judge has been able to see that this man is never the less making progress. He’s employed, he is trying, he is taking responsibility and he’s still got LandWorks…baby steps but still in the right direction, and he is not in jail.

Sunday night, the BBC opening line is “This unique project is tackling one of societies biggest problems…crime”.

Yup, that’s about right… and nobody said it would be easy.