Custody to Community Success

By November 13, 2013Chief Exec's Thoughts

We recently hosted a celebration event at our Central Manchester Regional Centre highlighting some of our success stories in community. We invited some representatives along from the Recovery Team on the Eden Unit in HMP Forest Bank so they could get the unique opportunity to witness first hand how their ex-clients are now doing in real life having been released from prison.

It is evident to see that the workers on the Recovery Wing deeply care about the people they work with and are keen to hear about how their ex-clients are settling back into communities and families so it was a privilege to be able to host such an event.

Sharon Berry, Recovery Manager and Nikki Rainford, Recovery Worker on the Eden Unit took the time to come along to our event to meet one special individual who we are extremely proud of and privileged to work with. David Davis, was released from HMP Forest Bank, where he had been working with the Recovery Team whilst located on the Eden Unit and part of David’s care plan was linked to working with Street Soccer Academy. This provided the opportunity for us to continue working with David as he had completed our Coach Education and Personal Development programme whilst in prison and we had encouraged him to engage with us upon release.

Sharon and Nikki were clearly delighted to see how fit and healthy David now looks and how content he clearly is with his life right now. David has been out of prison for over 12 months and the future is looking very bright indeed.

Sharon summed up David’s journey so far in the following words:

“Upon release, as part of David’s continuity of care and through the gate work, he was linked in with the Street Soccer Academy service in the community, continuing to gain their support in his recovery and meeting up with other individuals in similar circumstances, supporting each other on and off the pitch.

David chose to engage with Street Soccer Academy and since doing this he has managed to secure employment with the help of Street Soccer Academy and now works at Economy Energy on a full time basis.

David is clearly enjoying life and continues to remain focused on his future with his family. He is also starting his FA Level 1 coaching award in the spring of 2014, continuing to develop his skill and enhance his profile.

David is testament to the strength of partnership between Street Soccer Academy and Forest Bank in producing effective rehabilitation and resettlement strategies in order to reduce reoffending and support offenders through the gate and back into mainstream society.”

David’s achievements should not be underestimated. When released just over 12 months ago he faced significant challenges that he had never before overcome. We helped David with immediate need, which started off with food parcels, friendship and a place of refuge. David soon started to take hold of his life and his determination and desire to succeed was tangible. As a team we are delighted to see him now looking after his family, having a healthy routine to his life and playing a full role in society. We remain extremely optimistic about what the future holds for David and his family. He is a true example of what can be achieved when you make good decisions and choose to surround yourself with the right people.

Author Andrew Thorp

Andrew founded the Street Soccer Academy concept in 2005 and under his leadership the work has developed into an award winning registered charity and innovative enterprise. Educated at Loughborough University, Andrew has a BSc Hons in Management Sciences and has experience as a tutor and assessor at Salford City College, responsible for the delivery of an NVQ 2 qualification in Teaching, Instructing and Training. He is also a UEFA 'B' qualified coach and has vast experience working in the professional and semi-professional football world at Rochdale AFC, Leigh RMI and Trafford FC. It is through his experience in these fields that the accredited education programmes have been formulated in order to significantly enhance the opportunities of Street Soccer Academy beneficiaries.

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