The Chelsea Foundation are excited to welcome the first cohort of participants for our ‘Breaking the Cycle’ programme in Feltham Prison.

The project aims to provide real opportunities to better prepare prisoners for release, find employment and reduce re-offending.

Starting this week, Foundation staff will work in conjunction with prison education partner, Prospect Education, and charity Key4Life to deliver an educational pathway in HMYOI Feltham for prisoners aged 15-18. The eight-week project for those within three to six months of release is designed with the purpose of trying to stop the young person re-offending when they are released.

‘Breaking the Cycle’ will run continually with back-to-back eight-week projects for different prisoners and will be supported by post-release support for the young people once they have re-entered the community.

Senior project officer Jim Hart said: ‘The launch of this programme is a proud moment for the Foundation. It's a privilege to be the people that are trusted to inspire the young men in the prison to reflect on their offending behaviour and how it has affected others and take steps towards a brighter future, for them and their families.

The aim is to use the concept of the sports team and the sports academy, and the relationships that are developed during that process of team building, training together, learning together, and sharing a culture together, as a tool to get to know the prisoners and work with them on plans for the future.

‘The sport on the course will triple the amount of exercise that the prisoners receive, this in turn will afford them all the associated mental health benefits of regular physical work, and help change their mind-set and make them more optimistic about the opportunity for change.

‘We will build on this sense of wellbeing by offering an opportunity for them to identify their talents, allow them to feel empowered by achieving new skills and qualifications and give them a voice to shape the course for future participants.

‘During this process of intervention we will support the young person with their resettlement plan and liaise with caseworkers and youth offending teams to fully understand the complex nature of their needs and make a real difference.’

As part of the programme Foundation staff will deliver three sessions of sport a week as well as educational sessions, with the prisoners studying two vocational qualifications, a Sports Leaders award and a level 1 futsal coaching award.

The prisoners will also hear from inspirational guest speakers and our delivery partners Key4life on subjects such as Equine Therapy, Music Therapy and Emotional Resilience.

London delivery co-ordinator Yasin Ali from Key4Life said: ‘Key4Life is proud to work with the Chelsea Foundation to rehabilitate young people with an offending background.

‘Sport is a central part of our seven-step model and their professionalism and commitment has been immeasurable and we are grateful for their support and hope to work towards changing lives with Chelsea in Feltham.’