Severn Trent partners with Trailblazers mentoring in next step to help 100,000 people reach their potential
Thursday 11th May 2023
Severn Trent announces partnership with Trailblazers mentoring charity.
The company will provide up to 20 mentors a year to support young men in HMP Brinsford Prison, Wolverhampton, and post-release.
Severn Trent is developing employability workshops to deliver directly in the prison, to encourage and support prison leavers into work post-release and reduce the risk of re-offending.
Next step in Severn Trent’s ten year programme to support 100,000 people living in its region, tackling underlying causes of poverty and helping people get into work.
Just 9% of prison leavers with a mentor reoffend within the first year of leaving prison, compared to the national average of approximately 57%.*
Trailblazers worked with 164 men in 2022, of those 164 men 56% were supported into employment.
Midlands water company Severn Trent has partnered with Trailblazers Mentoring, in the next step of its ten year commitment to help 100,000 people living in the Midlands reach their full potential and supporting people into work.
The programme will see employees from across the company mentoring and supporting those currently in HMP Brinsford prison in Wolverhampton for 18 months, to help provide guidance and support prison leavers as they prepare for their release.
Trailblazers mentoring, who have 25 years’ experience of providing mentoring services to young men in prison, say that just 9% of prison leavers with a mentor reoffend in the first year of leaving prison, compared to the national average of around 57%.*
The partnership is just one element of Severn Trent’s ten year plan, where it’s committed to doing more and helping people living in the Midlands to reach their full potential. It’s committed to support through a variety of ways including providing work experience placements for school pupils, delivering free employability workshops partnering with community groups and other businesses to provide support to hard to reach communities.
As well as mentoring, the company is developing employability workshops to be delivered directly in the prison, such as confidence building and cv writing skills.
The company hopes through mentoring it will reduce reoffending, and help prison leavers move on positively with their lives and increase opportunities to find work and develop skills which in turn helps increase skills and employment within communities.
Trailblazers say that over 50% of the young men they worked with last year were supported into employment, and the partnership with Severn Trent is set to support that.
Elizabeth Heath, Societal Strategy Lead at Severn Trent said: “Our role in the community is more than just a water company, and this partnership allows us to provide valuable one to one support and mentoring that can make a huge impact on someone’s life, and support a young person’s second chance.
“Our colleagues have their different personal experiences to share and come from different areas of our business. They’re committed to helping and supporting their mentees to take positive steps as they approach release and integrate back into their communities.
Sarah Ball, Service Delivery Director at Trailblazers Mentoring said: “Trailblazers Mentoring are thrilled to be partnering with Severn Trent. Recovery from Covid has been a challenging time for the voluntary sector, this partnership with Severn Trent means we have the unwavering support from Severn Trent staff that are committed to sharing their skills and expertise to challenge the mindset of men within prison through the power of mentoring to realise that there is another way in life, other than crime to break the cycle of the revolving door of prison and offending. Working together with Severn Trent we can create a greater number of opportunities through mentoring, education and training to those involved in the criminal justice system in the Midlands to better prepare men for employment in their own communities. Mutually we can achieve our vision of reducing re-offending, as research shows that employment and ongoing support through the gate are key factors in creating desistence from crime.”
Governor Scott Hall, the Head of Reducing Re-offending at HMP YOI Brinsford said: “Trailblazers have provided bespoke one to one mentoring to Young Adults at HMP YOI Brinsford for 14 years. Supporting young men with care packages, assisting them with accommodation and access to employment. It is hoped this new collaboration with Severn Trent provides further opportunities for the Young Adults within Brinsford.”
The partnership builds on Severn Trent’s ten-year programme to support 100,000 people living in its region, helping more people into employment by providing valuable work experience and employability training in the heart of communities.
For every year it will provide up to 500 work experiences for school pupils, as well as run employability workshops and sessions in community centres in the heart of local communities.
In its first year it will also be delivering 10,000 hours of free employability training available to anyone.
Elizabeth added: “A key part of our programme is to provide confidence and encouragement to those who may need it and give people the right tools to create positive opportunities.
“We hope that by getting involved with programmes like this, that it will help us better understand the people living in our communities, allowing us to do more to help and make real, tangible differences to them and understand the barriers and challenges faced.”
“There is so much untapped talent that is hidden away in prisons,” adds Sarah. “The men want to be given a second chance to be able to give something back and be a pillar of support for their own families. Sadly not all men are given these opportunities, with an excellent company like Severn Trent wanting to invest in our mentees to be able achieve their goals already speaks in volumes that the men will openly welcome the amazing opportunity that their community is forgiving and caring and will have a second chance”
Severn Trent’s first group of 12 mentors have now finished their training ready to start mentoring over the next year, and in the community following their release.
* The re-offending rate for adults being release from prison serving less than 12 months have a re-offending rate of 53.9% those that serve less than 6 months of a custodial sentence the re-offending rate is 57%, . Reference: Proven reoffending statistics: January to March 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)