Career Connect

The CFO Discovery Wing Project is delivered by Achieve in partnership with staff at HMP Risley and is part funded by the European Social Fund. The bespoke programme is 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.

The 27-week wrap-around programme combines self-development activities, practical support, and access to networks upon release, to help prevent re-offending.

Participants have been linked up with post-release support from charities such as Veterans HQ and Care After Combat and been referred to selfemployment advisers. They also meet regularly with their Community Case Workers before release to build a rapport, helping to keep the participant engaged with support once they leave custody.

The programme has three phases:

Phase 1:

  • Motivation and goal setting
  • Individual and group sessions
  • Disclosure advice
  • Stress management
  • Mindfulness and coping strategies
  • Benefit advice and housing support
  • Job searching techniques and interview preparation
  • College/university applications
  • Volunteering opportunities
  • Managing the outside world

Phase 2:

  • Learning new skills through working in the Bike Workshop.


Phase 3:

  • Engaging in community activities for the benefit of the prison estate.

Each week participants undertake meaningful activities on a Friday. This has included creating displays for the wing, and painting and building furniture which has been used throughout the prison. Activities such as quizzes and a 5K run have received excellent participant feedback.

So far, 135 people have participated in the project, with 69 of those released from prison. Out of that 69, 23 have secured employment. Seven participants have moved into an Open Prison due to their progress on the project.

A new cohort is now underway, with 20 new participants

Participant feedback

“…the course is brilliant and helps a lot for lads who need help on release. The staff on this course are great teachers and do the job, which is challenging most of the time, but they handle the lads great. The CFO Discovery Wing is good and the staff are fair and will go out their way to help. I think my life has taken a positive turn because of the staff. Thank you.”

“Adam, Hannah and Katie have been very helpful in giving me ideas for when I get released as I was wanting to do the course last year but I didn’t have long left, but as I was recalled I applied to come straight on the course to help me more for when [I am] released.”

“I found the course very helpful, with up-todate info. It helped me [think about] work on release, construction, HGV, jobs I thought I couldn’t have got. Disclosure and CV helped.”

“The staff have always been real. Treated me as a person. Honestly, this team works. Thank you.”

Download our Impact Report here


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