Career Connect

As our Achieve team comes to the end of our CFO3 contract, we’re reflecting on the ways we have been helping people to move forward with their lives. Futures Through Football is a new football-based programme from Achieve in association with CFO3 and National League North champions, AFC Fylde.

With a focus on diversity, Futures Through Football aims to build relationships through the power of football. With the help of Achieve Case Managers, it is tailored to the participant to maximise its impact.

The one-week course, which took place for the first time in October 2022, gave 12 men from HMP Wymott the opportunity to work with AFC Fylde Community Foundation coaches to improve communication, teamworking and leadership skills through football coaching – and come out with a foundation level certificate that they can use as they look for employment or further education on release.

The first programme gained such a positive reputation in HMP Wymott that there were almost 60 men on the waiting list for the next one.

This image shows some of our Achieve CFO3 participants of Futures Through Football at HMP Wymott

AFC Fylde Community Engagement Leads, Mick Whittle and Chris McNally were involved in leading the participants through the course.

Chris said: “We started the week demonstrating some basic sessions, and the men have been able to adapt these and create their own sessions which we can see today.”

Helen Wood and Gavin Theaker, who are part of the Achieve Employer Engagement Team, reflected on the first programme.  “All of the men on this course were due for release within 12 months. A few of the men had already expressed an interest in employment or self-employment,” said Helen.

Gavin added: “The men all struggled with injuries during the week as it was a while since they were able to exercise with this intensity. Despite this, they were all committed 100% to this course, with lads finishing tasks in their own time.”

Ant Bigley, Team Manager at Achieve added, “The prison have been brilliant – the staff, the governors, everyone. Mr Beck [HMP Wymott Governor] has taken time out of his schedule to ask how the men are doing, and he was able to get this course up and running with only a short amount of notice. We’ve been incredibly lucky to have such a supportive prison.”

This image shows some of our Achieve CFO3 participants of Futures Through Football at HMP Wymott

Men who took part in the first programme have become ambassadors for future courses and are working with Carole Johnson (Case Manager at HMP Wymott) and CFO3 to create materials to develop the course even further and advertise it across Way Out TV and via kiosks.

The project has since been rolled out in other establishments. It is currently running in HMP Styal, and there are plans to run it in other prisons in the coming year.

About Achieve and CFO3

Achieve (a wholly owned subsidiary of Career Connect) deliver social inclusion programme CFO3 on behalf of His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS). CFO3 is designed for offenders who face multiple barriers to employment – for example issues like accommodation, substance misuse and issues with mental/physical health, etc.

By targeting such individuals, we aim ensure that people who aren’t currently accessing mainstream provision are supported into jobs.  Our case managers offer intensive support to all programme participants.  By doing this, we aim to provide a smoother journey towards employment, ease reintegration into the local community, and lower the likelihood of repeat offending.

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