Kelli, Mentor at HMYOI Aylesbury
We do this by mentoring and encouraging young offenders to make a positive change and providing them with the tools, support and opportunities they need to continue on their new path when they are released. Contrary to what some people believe prisons in the UK do not provide a stimulating environment for change. Mentees sometimes spend up to 23 hours a day in their cells and the only people they talk to are fellow inmates or prison officers. Mentoring allows them to speak to ‘an outsider’. Someone who doesn’t tell them what to do or judge them for the things they may have done, but someone who can help them see a different path and offer the guidance they need to create a better future.
Our work impacts hundreds of lives daily and this is what drives us on.
Our mentoring service doesn’t stop at the prison gates. For us it’s not just about preventing a young person from reoffending and going back intro prison. The real value comes by inspiring them to spread their message, their experiences and to educate others from similar backgrounds or vulnerable positions that there is always another way.
Dom, Mentor at HMYOI Aylesbury
The UK has endured very high youth reoffending rates for decades, delivering a constant financial and social burden on society. Part of the problem stems from the fact that the opportunities for ex-offenders to enter employment upon release are limited. Only one in four have a job to go and in a recent YouGov survey 50% of respondents said they would not employ an ex-offender.
This is why we are working hard alongside mentees and organisations to break some of the misconceptions surrounding youth offenders with a view of offering these young people better opportunities to change their lives around.
Ex-Offender, HMP Brinsford