More people in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre are being given access to a programme that will provide rehabilitation for offenders, while improving future career prospects, thanks to funding from Cumbria and Lancashire Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) and quality of life services company, Sodexo.
Delivered by AFC Fylde Community Foundation, the Positive Pathways programme will enter into a new phase this month, working with the CRC, to provide a period of intensive support to identified individuals from the region.
The grant from Sodexo will enable The Foundation to provide a new phase of community outreach, which will include Blackpool and Wyre for the first time, to those who are serving community sentences or have been released from prison on licence.
Over the next 12 months, the new cohort of programme participants will be given access to health, wellbeing, budgeting and financing support during outreach sessions in the community, as part of the CRC’s commitment to deliver effective offender management and rehabilitation services.
Those on the programme will also be given the opportunity to achieve Level One and Level Two AQA accreditations from a range of subjects, including business administration, operations, and accounting.
The latest phase of the Positive Pathways programme will also utilise the facilities at AFC Fylde’s Mill Farm Stadium and Sports Village, with the young adults having access to professional sports coaching to achieve football development and coaching qualifications.
AFC Fylde Community Foundation has appointed a new integration officer, Charlie Hay, who will be responsible for leading and delivering the programme.
The 24 participants on the next phase of the Positive Pathways programme will be referred directly by CRC.
Phil O’Donnell, Director at Cumbria and Lancashire CRC, said: “This personalised mentoring programme delivered in partnership with the AFC Fylde Community Foundation is designed to reduce reoffending for those individuals on the scheme.
“We have seen evidence of the successful impact that the Positive Pathways programme has had on participants and the community in recent years and we strongly believe that Sodexo’s funding will enable the team to offer tailored support, advice and intervention to those in the region who most need it.”
First launched in 2015, Positive Pathways has helped prevent crime and reduce re-offending by providing education and support services to over 100 children and young adults aged 14-18 by teaching them about the consequences their behaviour has on their prospects, as well as their community.
Last year, The Foundation worked with 12 adults across Fylde, who had committed low to medium risk offences, providing them with access to education, advice and support to encourage positive attitudes, while using football as a vehicle to increase engagement.
Tom Hutton, director of community development at the AFC Fylde Community Foundation, said: “Our Positive Pathways programme has been successfully educating young people about the impact of criminal behaviour and reintegrating offenders back into the community since October 2015.
“The support from Sodexo will enable us to help low and medium risk offenders to make a fresh start in life, with access to support and advice from dedicated colleagues here at the Foundation. We’re looking forward to delivering this service in partnership with the CRC.”