“I’m so grateful that I’ve got that support because I don’t know how I would’ve managed on my own…”
Jarvis, LandWorks Graduate
LandWorks has continued to establish itself as an exemplar resettlement scheme that is well-respected and making a genuine difference to some of those most vulnerable in our society.
In the past year, we have been able to support 20 former offenders to turn their lives around after crime. Since 2013, LandWorks has supported over 70 people serving community sentences and on day release from prison. We are very proud to have maintained an employment rate of over 90% for our graduates, and a reoffending rate of less than 6% against a national average of 46%. LandWorks now employs two of its own ‘graduates’ – Graham leading in the Woodworking Team, training others, and Martin has joined the Operations Team working across all the project enterprises. As well as offering invaluable insight to project development, their knowledge of the criminal justice system and the challenges facing our beneficiary group filters into the day-to-day running of LandWorks.
Support available for offenders locally is piecemeal and not joined-up. It requires people to keep to appointments across various locations, and engage with too many professionals with insufficient contact time to build trusting relationships. For those with chaotic lives, and little money for transport, it is almost impossible for offenders to engage with the support they need. The following metaphor about the challenges facing people with complex needs captures just some of the problem:
“Imagine trying to get your car fixed after it breaks down and finding that you have to take it to a different garage to fix each part. Even worse, each garage is in a different area and none of them share information, so you have to repeatedly explain the problem and fill out separate forms at each visit”
(quoted in Hudson et al, 2005, p.13)
LandWorks offers a full-time, comprehensive service with integrated support across a broad range of issues at one location. We replicate a real working environment where accomplishment and achievement is valued. LandWorks also offers a safe place to be vulnerable, a place to build trusting individual relationships, and above all, a chance to develop a non-criminal identity. Our excellent statistics speak for themselves but we view real success as former trainees getting married, starting a family, and generally leading settled, contributing lives in their communities.