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Works for Freedom

Works for Freedom

Works for Freedom supports practice that empowers, by sharing knowledge and experience.

Website URL: http://www.worksforfreedom.org



Lifeline is a registered Charity with forty years experience of managing drug and alcohol services. Lifeline currently provides a diverse range of services including recovery and peer mentoring, harm minimization, day programmes, prescribing and shared care, community detoxification services, criminal justice and prison initiatives, family work and services for young people. Their services are spread across Yorkshire, the North East, the North West, London and the Midlands, working within diverse towns, cities and villages.

Currently delivering around 75 services or contracts, they support a workforce of 692 staff, over 250 volunteers, and increasing numbers of peer mentors. They works closely with communities and localities, and produce educative and digital material designed to encourage access to help. They also work towards educating professionals in allied sectors and the general public on substance misuse.


Published in Health Practice

St Petrock's


St Petrock's is an Exeter-based charity helping people who are homeless, or vulnerably housed, lead more settled and fulfilling lives through their resource centre that provides Advice and Support, Housing and Support and Health and Crisis Services. Their aim is to improve quality of life, improve health, independent living skills and providing access to training and employment. St Petrock's believe that providing fast, accessible and responsive services is key to helping people off the streets, out of homelessness and into more stable lives.

They have a team that take on a wide range of projects and responsibilities. This includes work at HMP Exeter providing a Prison Resettlement service; their PORCH (Prolific Offender Resettlement in Co-Ordinated Housing) project based at Probation Service and a Rent and Support service that runs from the Centre. 

Published in Housing Practice



Ment4 provides one-to-one specialist mentoring for teenagers - mainly 14 to 17 years old - with behavioural challenges.

They help those who are involved in crime or vulnerable to it, as well as long-term non-attenders, those excluded from schools and those who are judged as particularly vulnerable by Social Services by running six month programmes where mentors spend up to ten hours a week with their assigned young people, one-on-one, working through problematic thinking, helping them choose goals and committing to achieving them.

For those struggling in education, they help identify causes of difficulties and work with teaching staff to build long-term stability in behaviour and attendance. Alongside this, they work closely with families, giving them support, encouragement and coaching boundaries, where necessary.

Practically speaking, mentors at Ment4 attend court meetings, meet teachers, set up training and employment appointments, and chat time and again over milkshakes and air hockey tables. Through these, they aim to build trust, respect, opportunities and hope for the future.

Check out their resources here

Published in User-Voices Practice



Gibran work holistically with women, treating them as individuals and tailoring their support.

Their remit is to provide care and support, increase women's self-esteem, confidence and feelings of control/empowerment in order to help them lead meaningful lives and be able to integrate fully within their communities.

They train peer mentors to allow volunteers to develop professional skills and to combat exclusion by identifying and prioritising their needs, to acquire the life skills to deal with their issues, with the aim of reducing the risk of re-offending.

Gibran UK Ltd has excellent links with a range of voluntary and statutory providers:

  • Swansea Women's Centre to deliver the One Stop Shop services. Swansea Women's Centre provides informal and formal learning opportunities, woman-related resources/information and short-term support and signposting - all in a safe and supportive women-only environment.
  • Jobcentre Plus offices across South Wales, Careers Wales, The Wallich, BTCV, BAWSO (Black Association of Women Step Out), Women's Aid and FFOPs (Family and Friends of Prisoners)
  • NOMS
  • National Probation Service
  • Action for Children (NCH) and Barnardos; helping lone parents develop skills and confidence
  • and a range of organisations that are working with females who have been sanctioned by the criminal justice system, such as UNLOCK, Transitional Support Service and NACRO.

The Gibran UK Ltd project team have worked with Welsh women at HMP Eastwood Park for the last five years; they also have good links with HMP Downview and HMP Foston Hall. The team have been working in partnership with HMP Prison Service Wales since 2002 and National Probation Service South East Wales since 2004.


Published in User-Voices Practice

Changing Paths


Changing Paths is a Community Interest Company and Charitable Trust that assists people who have been sanctioned by the criminal justice system, and others, into skilled, sustainable and paid employment within the construction sector and its supply chain.

They achieve these goals through providing constructive and comprehensive training packages and programmes, and continually growing their partner base who are willing to take on Changing Path graduates.

The intention is that Changing Paths will establish itself as a route of choice out of re-offending for those in the prison population with a genuine desire to change their life prospects on release.

Elmore Community Services is a registered charity that provides high quality services for marginalised and disenfranchised people throughout Oxfordshire.

Elmore aims to work with people with complex needs (including mental health) who do not easily fit into existing service provision or who need support to access service provision in their local community. They identify gaps and barriers in current provision and use this information to lobby for, and create and implement models of working that address these issues. They work directly with people on the margins of society and aim to support individuals to have equal access to the basic rights of society.

They provide both emotional and practical support. This might include helping individuals to register with a GP, support to access addiction services, making sure that they have support in court or help to sort out their benefits and finances. Elmore will help build confidence and independence so that people will feel ready to eventually stop working with them.

Published in User-Voices Practice

YES+ services are designed to explore the underlying causes of criminal and anti-social behaviour with a unique feature – they are the product of criminal experience. The YES+ team have 'walked the walk'; the majority have come from the same background and feel strongly they can help other young people make different choices.

All YES+ interventions are designed by the team and based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Techniques (CBT), personal experience and 'what works' research. The identification between YES+ Facilitators and their young client group helps to promote trust, empathy and credibility. This is a key factor in the delivery of the intervention - to divert young people from crime by empowering them to explore social responsibilities and lifestyle choices.

Published in User-Voices Practice

Caritas Anchor House is a residential and life skills centre for single homeless people. They support over 200 people each year, giving them so much more than just a roof over their heads. Their aim is to address the root causes of homelessness and create sustainable solutions that ensure the people we help will never find themselves in that situation again.

Identifying, addressing and finally overcoming the root causes of why someone is on the street is the cornerstone of Caritas Anchor House's success. Upon arrival, each individual becomes involved in their aspirations programme. This programme works with the individual so they can realise which areas of their lives need improving, what direction they want to take their life in, and through training and education, how to get there. 

Anchor house also has a recovery hub available to its residents and the community who are in recovery from alcohol and substance misuse. It is made up of the Recovery Capital Programme, the Recovery Café, SMART Recovery meetings, Peer Mentoring, the Abstinence Day Programme and Mutual Aid groups.

Published in Housing Practice

The Upper Room


The Upper Room is a charity working with the socially disadvantaged. They work with homeless people, economic migrants and people who have been in prison in order to help them improve their lives and conditions and give them the self confidence to become economically independent.

It began as a simple soup kitchen, and now runs three major services. 

UR4Meals: feeds 90-120 people, five days a week, as well as providing free clothing and bedding, volunteer opportunities, support with health and housing, onward referrals and reconnection services. 

UR4Jobs: a pioneering multilingual employment support service, largely for unemployed Central and Eastern Europeans. It aims to break the circuit of un-employability and homelessness among 300 beneficiaries a year by providing a personalised mix of administrative expertise, entry level skills training, motivational courses, bilingual counselling and access to legitimate jobs. 

UR4Driving: a prize-winning project which aims to reduce recidivism among 30 individuals who have been sanctioned by the criminal justice system a year. The service teaches these individuals to drive in return for voluntary work and then treating their new driving licences as vocational qualifications for work in transport and warehousing. Since its launch in 2010, over 150 people with an offending history have or are still enrolled and only 3 have reoffended after passing their Driving Tests.


All of these services are free and have one aim: to improve people's lives by providing a safe, warm and friendly environment. Their services are personalised to suit the needs of each individual and The Upper Room pride themselves on finding innovative solutions to intractable social problems.



Lightbox is a not-for-profit community interest company and its current project; 'The Happiness Project', is based in Bristol.

The project brings a signposting service and happiness workshops to Bristol with the aim to improve mental wellbeing in both individuals and communities. Those at Lightbox believe that our level of well-being affects people we may never even meet, and in this way we hold a lot of power.

'When we invest in our own happiness we are also investing in the happiness of the community and society we live in.'

Lightbox has worked alongside many support services in Bristol to work with usually hard to reach individuals. The happiness workshops are completely free to attend and are hugely creative; they aim to provide ideas and tools for individuals to take away after the workshop in order to maintain positive well-being.

The workshops follow different themes to remain available to everyone and beneficial to anyone. Prisons have previously sent out residents to attend workshops as part of their preparation for release and reintegration into the community. Lightbox also works with probation services in the community by providing a series of workshops in situ for their clients.

Published in User-Voices Practice
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