Career Connect

Our Achieve team won three of the four awards they were nominated for at the national HMPPS CFO celebration event in Birmingham.

Achieve specialises in careers, information and guidance services and employability support within the criminal justice sector. The team has delivered different rounds of the His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Services (HMPPS) CFO contract since 2010. In this time, they have worked with thousands of hard-to-reach participants with complex needs and barriers to employment.

At the CFO celebration event, Achieve won:

  • Veteran’s award (for the Discovery project at HMP Risley)
  • Creative arts award (for the Music Minds course)
  • Neurodiversity award – individual award for Lisa Duckworth, Case Manager

The CFO Discovery project at HMP Risley is a bespoke programme designed to help armed services veterans and other hard-to-reach prisoners access support, both in custody and in the community, as they prepare for release. It is a 27-week wrap-around programme combined with self-development activities, practical support, and access to networks upon release, to help prevent re-offending. This project has been running since July 2022.

Music Minds is a course in music development production and performance at HMP Wymott. The week-long course was offered to offenders with complex needs and personality disorders. Participants had access to a range of activities including music production, lyric writing, performance and research and development of musical scores to produce their own music, supported by music development and instrument workshops (for more information on Music Minds, find our article in our CFO3 newsletter on page 17).

Case Manager Lisa Duckworth won the Neurodiversity award for her work supporting offenders with additional needs and helping them communicate these to training providers and employers. One example of this is her work with Stephen* who has ADHD and autism. By helping Stephen to communicate his additional needs clearly to the training provider, Lisa was able to support Stephen in his pursuit of his goals. Read the full case study.

Achieve were also nominated for the Women’s award for the Coaching Inside and Out programme at HMP Styal. This programme helps hard-to-reach and vulnerable women in custody to develop resilience and life skills.

These nominations and awards in Birmingham follow the Special Recognition Award (for the CFO3 Discovery Wing project at HMP Risley) and Partner of the Year award (awarded to Phil Gornall, Employment Adviser) that Achieve has won in the last 12 months, alongside a number of other nominations.

Career Connect CEO, Sheila Clark said: “I am so glad to see our Achieve team being recognised nationally by our commissioner HMPPS CFO3 for the incredible work that they do in changing people’s lives each and every day.

“As a charity, we want to have the biggest impact possible on people and their communities, and I think four nominations and three wins shows the quality that we deliver. Many congratulations to our Achieve team.”

Managing Director of Achieve, Chris Bennett, said: “It is fantastic to see the work of our staff being acknowledged by our commissioner. I know our teams take huge pride in their work, the ultimate aim of which is to help reduce reoffending. These awards and nominations reflect the lasting, positive impact that their work has had.”

* Stephen is not the participant’s real name and has been changed to protect his identity


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