LandWorks Charity hands workshop

Diary extract: 8th November 2013 (LandWorks has been up and running for 4 months)

Apparently last night in prison, Joe was again doing his peculiar Hitler impersonation. Terrifying I should have thought, moustache, slicked back hair and goose stepping around the wing until bang up.

Yesterday I had to stop him working at 4.15 pm, practically drag him into the van, he wants to painstakingly scrub the rock (old quarry face) with a tooth brush, almost as if he’s trying to scrub his past away?

Porta cabin was very cold this morning, we need to get a wood burner in place, somebody has kindly donated the proceeds from a cake sale to buy the chimney.

The lads are keen to design a garden. Barry (here on probation licence) is the lead, having 100s of ideas every waking minute. I am learning that in amongst the stream of nonstop thoughts, is often a nugget of genius.

The intermittent mobile reception at the field is difficult, keeps cutting out when I try to talk to Sarah up in the office on the estate. Not helpful and serious if I need to contact the prison.

Ian found lunch too much today… Managed to control his temper (I saw his fist clench), he simply walked out when a young visitor told him he should eat his carrots.… I gave him 5 mins, went to find him, he was okay… told him my son didn’t like carrots much (same age 23), Ian said if she’d been a bloke he would have taken him out… Ho hum.

Rich made us all laugh… although I think slightly at my expense. Tomorrow we’re planning a breakfast treat of scrambled eggs (our hen’s eggs), I like mine runny… the others clearly do not, Rich is teasing me “cos it shows you’re posh, not council estate”.

We are still exploring if it is possible for him to resettle here. Greater chance of success, than back in his old haunts in North Devon. Lot to get finalised not least a policy change for LandWorks, Rich will have an initial placement with LandWorks after release. Probation in North Devon delighted to get rid of him… South Devon not so delighted to accept him. A big move for Rich… He’s only ever been away from home to go to Prison.

By the end of the day Barry’s chest is wheezing badly, he has a cup of tea and then heads off on his bike… which looks several sizes too small. The rest prepare for the journey back to Prison, Joe does a final scrub, there’s a lot to do, in every sense!

We finally head off to prison, with everyone reminding me that it is a criminal offence to drive without an MOT… I need to book that and a service. And sort out insurance so others can drive.

Home to my ‘missus’… they tell me “my missus” is the chief, she is picking them up tomorrow morning…

They’re not daft.

9th November 2017: Today

The key to success remains the same: building strong individual helping relationships… Not friends nor mates, but equally not seeing offenders as just numbers.

Those four men in 2013, paved the way for others, our 54th trainee starts on Monday.

Rich was the first to resettle in this area (Dec 2013) followed by another 8. (not sure how aware Totnes is of this)

Employment rate for ROTL trainees is 98%
Employment rate for community trainees is 85%
Those reporting an improvement in well-being is 100%
Reoffending rate for all trainees is less than 4%

Joe has stopped scrubbing.




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