Mark* is a new Oswinner, he self-referred and is extremely motivated to find employment. However, the employment Mark ideally wants to do is not possible due to the nature of his offences. This poses challenges when working with Mark, encouraging him to find employment that he will enjoy doing but whilst not being his ideal job. Mark completed many educational courses whilst in different prisons but has not received his certificates; Mark has tried to retrieve these but has not been successful. This is a common problem, as prisoners are moved around the prison estate their paperwork is not passed on. We are now working with Mark to get a list of the different courses he has completed, and where he completed them. We will then contact the relevant prisons and hopefully recover his certificates. He cannot get help from probation as he is no longer under their supervision, so they will not assist him. Due to the complexities Mark’s situation it will take considerable time and effort to find him employment. We have directed Mark to potential volunteer opportunities but he wants paid work and is reluctant to take a job he is not really interested in. Mark’s situation is far from unique.
*name has been changed
As we are all aware, we can offer hope, support, and a future but success is dependant on the individual involved. Tim* joined team Café 16 to help with the setting up in January. He worked in the kitchen during our brief pre Covid- opening and helped prepare for our re- opening as a pre- order take away service on 14th May.
To those kind patrons of the establishment he is the breakfast bun supremo, but he is much more, willing to work on every aspect of Café 16, ensuring health and safety procedures are followed and food is prepared in advance. He is an unremittingly cheerful team player and has operated in all areas gaining experience and knowledge.
The team will all miss Tim, but it is not goodbye for he is joining the Oswin Project’s flourishing gardening and maintenance squad. His work ethic coupled with his outgoing nature will stand him and us in good stead.
The Oswin Project recognises that it is just a small cog in HMP Northumberland and that many have been involved in Tims’s journey. We look forward to working together to offer a future beyond HMP Northumberland to many other residents.
Thank you for your support and good luck to Tim!
*Name has been changed