Welcome to our very first blog post! We want to share with you our brilliant work and update you with our success stories so far. So, make sure you keep checking back over the coming weeks and months as we’ve some great content coming your way including personal stories of those we’ve worked with, our future plans and getting to meet our team!

In late 2018, Clean Slate Solutions began planning a recruitment model for Teesside and North Yorkshire like no other. Utilising our experience of prisons and rehabilitation we decided it was time to tap into a vastly underrated talent pool, that of ex-offenders. Our vision was to create a network of social value driven employers that would give us opportunity to advocate without prejudice, as employer relationships are vital to our success. Understanding each employers’ framework of needs is key, hence why strict risk assessments and criteria are applied.

Why?

  • Re-offending rates in the UK are at record levels
  • 56% of adults are reconvicted within one year of release
  • There are 50% more people in prison than there was 25 years ago
  • The cost of all this to the UK is approximately £15bn per year
  • Just 17% of offenders have employment within 12 months of their release

Our first full 12 months have seen: 35 referrals; with 29 ready for advocating, 23 of which were in paid employment as of April 2020.

Our early stats demonstrate how far we have come with the help of those who have generously supported us, however, there is still much to do in continuing to compassionately transform lives and reduce re-offending in our region. The Clean Slate Solutions vision continues to develop a network of social value invested employers, providing opportunities for us to advocate people with past convictions.

How?

Our mentored support work comes first, ensuring when we do advocate to employers, participants have their lives in good order so that their focus is 100% on their new employment. The first stage support work includes access to:

  • CV writing support
  • Help with finding and applying for housing
  • Debt support/hardship grants
  • Bank account/ID
  • Family liaison
  • Ongoing recovery support from any past addictions
  • Foodbank referrals
  • Providing interview clothing for men and women

Not all participants necessarily need support with all the above, and some might not require any additional support at all. We assess and handle each separate case individually.

As of April 2020, just two of our 35 referrals had reoffended, meaning we therefore have a 6% reoffending rate within 12 months when compared to a national average of 56%. This shows the importance of providing employment and allowing ex-offenders to participate in and contribute to society.

We could not carry out our much-needed work without the support of our social value invested employers who not only partner with us to transform the lives of ex-offenders, but who also support us in contributing to safer communities. We are truly grateful to these employers and thank them for their heart and their commitment.

Our work also would not be possible without our amazing, hard-working, and dedicated team of staff and volunteers. We have had priceless support from our volunteers to get Clean Slate Solutions up and running and all hands truly have been, and continue to be, on deck!