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Islington charity awarded over £100k to support women with convictions into work

The UK’s only charity helping women with criminal convictions find jobs has received a cash boost for its work supporting Londoners.

London’s largest independent grant giver, City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, has awarded Working Chance £117,000.

Working Chance, based in Islington, is the UK’s only recruitment consultancy for women with criminal convictions and young female care leavers at risk of offending. The charity provides specialist employment services to women in prison, on probation and out in the community, helping them turn their lives around.

The grant will expand the charity’s work across the capital by employing a full-time Recruitment Coach. 50% of staff at Working Chance have criminal convictions and the newly funded post will also be filled by a woman with personal experience of the criminal justice system. This role will support over 700 women in London to find employment.

Alison Gowman, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, said:

“This charity is recognising and nurturing talent, helping women with convictions integrate back into the community and turn their lives around.

“These women are being given a second chance and the right support to get into employment - giving them independence and a real confidence boost.

“City Bridge Trust is committed to tackling disadvantage across the capital and making London a fairer and better place to live.”

Jocelyn Hillman OBE, Founder and Chief Executive of Working Chance, added:

“As the UK’s only specialist recruitment consultancy for women with criminal convictions, we are often the only place these women can turn to for help with finding a job and becoming financially independent. This grant will mean that we can continue to support marginalised women to cross the social divide from lives of exclusion to lives of contribution.

“The grant will fund a new trainee recruitment consultant, who will be trained to find the women we support quality jobs where they can thrive and support themselves and their families.

“We take pride in practising what we preach – 50% of our own staff have personal experience of the criminal justice and care systems – so we are very keen to fill this Trainee Recruitment Consultant position with a candidate who has similar lived experience, as we have done successfully in the past.”

City Bridge Trust makes grants totalling around £20 million per year towards charitable activity benefitting Greater London.

The charitable funder has awarded more than 7,700 grants totalling over £370 million since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the City Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners


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Kristina Drake

Media Officer, City of London Corporation

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