23 JUL 2012

Jack visits YoI Ashfield

Jack has paid a visit to YoI Ashfield in Pucklechurch. This visit was prompted by the contact he has had with Making the Change, a charity who help young offenders back into work after leaving prison and who have a house near Cribbs Causeway.

While at Ashfield, Jack met the director, Brian Anderson, and Stewart Stacey, the PE Enrichment Manager. He discussed the efforts that the prison is making to turn round lives of the young people who find themselves detained there, in particular the education that they are receiving and the role that sport is playing in their rehabilitation.

'I was very interested to hear about the work the staff at Ashfield are doing to prevent the young people here returning to a life of crime. Many of them will face huge temptations when they are released, and the goal is to give them skills that they can use to open up opportunities for work when they leave. I know that the young people who have ended up here will have a much better chance of succeeding if they have more skills to fall back on, and the staff here at Ashfield, and at Making the Change, are doing some very positive work to achieve this.'

The Director, Brian Anderson, is a former British middleweight boxing champion, and he is a strong believer in role that sport can play in the young people under his care. Jack was taken on a tour of the sport facilities at the prison by the PE Enrichment Manager Stewart Stacey, as well as hearing about some of the programmes that they have in place to enable them to gain skills and think long term about their future after release. Mr Stacey is looking at ways to improve the service the prison offers, and was keen to recruit Jack to help.

'Due to my background I am a great advocate of social mobility. I know that the young people at Ashfield are much more likely to avoid going back into custody if they can be offered skills and experience that will help them find work. I was very impressed with the enthusiasm displayed by Brian and Stewart in wanting the best for the young people in their care, and I wish them well with their efforts.'

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