Foundation helping offenders change

Chelsea Foundation coaches recently visited HM Prison Chelmsford as part of our ‘Breaking The Cycle’ initiative in Essex.

Working in collaboration with Essex Police and the Crime Commissioners office, the project is funded by the Premier League Charity Fund and aims to provide a ‘whole family approach’ to support the reduction of intergenerational offending and re-offending behaviour.

The initiative, which is in its second year, upskills and prepares offenders serving a prison sentence in HMP and Young Offender Institution (YOI) Chelmsford prior to release and resettlement back into the family home. It also supports children affected by parental imprisonment or those who are experiencing offending behaviour by providing education sessions.

During the recent visit, offenders pending release received a Chelsea Foundation introduction to a Coaching Course which was followed by a powerful and inspirational talk provided by Paul Hannaford.

Paul, who has turned his life around having been clean, sober and not reoffended for the past 10 years, has spoken to more than 350,000 children and adults helping them assess their futures, warning them off the dangers of drugs and gangs.

He said: ‘Days like this are important, it’s all about making them realise that they can change for the better.

‘I never had anything like this, the fact the Chelsea Foundation are working with offenders is great, they are so lucky.’

Chelsea Foundation Essex development manager Andrew Morgan, said: ‘We’ve been working hard with HMP Chelmsford to reduce re-offending rates using positive activities, the power of football and the Chelsea brand to engage offenders and build coping mechanisms using transferable skills in preparation for their release.’

As part the ‘Breaking the Cycle’ initiative, the Foundation also works with eight schools in Essex using football to help prevent children following in the footsteps of a parent who has been imprisoned or for children who are deemed at risk of offending.

The Foundation had also previously had a three-year project called ‘Unlocking Potential’ which also involved work in HMP Chelmsford and female prison HMP Holloway.

Click to read more on the work being done in schools to prevent children offending