London,
11
June
2015
|
10:51
Europe/Amsterdam

Kensington & Chelsea charity receives £125,000 grant to help ex-offenders into employment

Volunteer Centre Kensington & Chelsea (VCKC) has received £125,000 from the City of London Corporation’s charity, City Bridge Trust, to boost its work supporting offenders and ex-offenders into long-term employment.

Research shows that around two-thirds of prisoners are unemployed both before and after custody. VCKC’s ‘InsideOut’ resettlement programme works with Brixton and Wormwood Scrubs prisons to prepare offenders for life outside, matching them to volunteering opportunities, training and apprenticeships. This grant will focus on the needs of older prisoners – the fastest growing group of offenders in the country’s prisons, whose particular needs before and on release are largely overlooked. The grant from City Bridge Trust will cover nearly 60 per cent of the total running costs of this programme and will pay for a Resettlement Worker to work with older prisoners, who have greater levels of mental health problems than younger offenders. The project aims, over three-years, to deliver 200+ volunteer/work placements, with one in three progressing into paid employment.

Jessica Wanamaker, Chief Executive of the Volunteer Centre Kensington & Chelsea, said: “We are extremely grateful to City Bridge Trust for this exceptional grant enabling us to concentrate on developing new and important work with this group of offenders. The Justice Select Committee reported in 2013 on the needs of this group. We hope that with this grant we can better meet them.”

Jeremy Mayhew, Chairman of the City Bridge Trust, said:

“Re-entering society after a prison term is extremely challenging. Finding and keeping a job is key to effective resettlement, and helps reduce the likelihood of reoffending. Volunteer Centre Kensington & Chelsea teams up with other organisations to provide supported volunteer placements which give ex-offenders the opportunity to become contributing members of their local community.”

In the past 20 years, The City of London Corporation’s charity, City Bridge Trust, has awarded grants totalling £1/3 billion to charitable organisations tackling disadvantage in Greater London.

Notes to editors:

Media enquiries: Julie Zhu, Media Officer, City of London Corporation

T 020 7332 3451

E julie.zhu@cityoflondon.gov.uk

About the City of London CorporationThe City of London Corporation has three roles: we support London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration and skills projects. The Corporation supports education - with three independent schools and three City Academies – plus a primary school and the world-renowned Guildhall School of Music and Drama. We also help look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important ‘commons’ in south London. And – with its heart in London’s Square Mile - we also support and promote the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events, research-driven policies and a long-term approach. See www.cityoflondon.gov.uk for much more on our uniquely diverse role, including the City of London Police, etc.

The City of London Corporation’s charity, the City Bridge Trust, makes grants totaling around £15 million annually to charitable projects across London. More information can be found at www.citybridgetrust.org.uk.