Since opening our first HMP Academy in 2012, we’ve worked hard to grow our programme and impact, working in prisons across the North West, North East and Midlands. We now (April 2023) work in 11 prisons, operating six of our own HMP Academy workshops, and delivering our programmes in another five. We also have our community-based workshop in Preston, known as RL1.
Each Academy is much more than just a workshop. The managers in these support participants, undertaking much more than just operational work. They help with personal problems, day-to-day stresses and long-terms goals, and offer wrap-around pastoral care.
We continue to operate our Academies in the following prisons, primarily all still processing waste electricals from our ongoing partnership with Recycling Lives Ltd:
Kirkham – Our ‘oldest’ workshop is seeing excellent operations under a new (ish) manager, Chris.
Lancaster Farms – After a tricky couple of years, this workshop is on an even keel with our new manager, Layla, now in place.
Buckley Hall – This workshop continues to tick over very nicely, always hitting targets under Paul’s management.
Hatfield – Another workshop ticking over nicely supported by a very good working relationship with the prison team. Hatfield is focussed on offering ROTL opportunities, so we’re one of only a handful of workshops within the prison. As they move towards the majority of prisoners ‘working out’, we’ll have a higher turnover of staff in here, but this means we’re able to support more people, all led by the manager Michael.
Styal – There’s new work going on in this workshop, now processing Hive cameras, as part of our wider relationship with British Gas and Centrica. Manager Yvonne often goes above and beyond for the participants in her care.
Sudbury – We’ve recently welcomed a new manager, Sian, who will keep Sudbury as one of our top performing workshops.
RL1 – This workshop has gone from strength to strength since we opened it during the lockdowns of 2020. We’ve recently welcomed a new manager, Andy, and are busy agreeing a new contract with one of our commercial partners, which will see us improve reuse potential of large electricals.
As well as these prisons, we last year grew our programme, moving into HMPs Humber and Wealstun, for men, and HMP Foston Hall, for women, and further expanding our offering in HMP Sudbury. As part of a pilot funded by the National Lottery, our team support ex-offenders working in existing workshops, run by the prisons or other employers.
Having welcomed the ACE Project into our organisation in 2022 too, we now also work in HMP Preston. ACE’s team oversee volunteers offering peer-to-peer support for men there, ahead of release.