Career Connect supports offenders and ex-offenders through our subsidiary company, Achieve North West Connect (ANWC).
ANWC works on CFO3 across eight prisons in the North-West, as part of a national programme co-funded by the European Social Fund.
The focus of CFO3 is to help offenders move towards mainstream provision or into employment. ANWC does this through helping their client address barriers to work, and developing support tailored for individual circumstances and needs.
Offenders are supported through the prison gate into the community, providing continuity on their journey to gaining new skills and employment.
Lisa Duckworth, Case Manager from Achieve North West Connect, shares Stephen’s story.
“Stephen has ADHD and is autistic, and had difficulties in engaging with support. He was referred to me by his Offender Manager.
“When I met Stephen for the first time, he was very anxious. However, I have experience and knowledge of ADHD, and I was able to help him feel calm and comfortable in planning to move forward. This positive rapport led Stephen to discuss his goals, which included completing a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) course, and creating an updated CV.
“Stephen struggled with his behaviour in certain situations. Due to his own feelings relating to his offence, he also needed coping mechanisms to stop his negative thoughts, and guidance on how to be around new people. We completed some work together to address this and work around boundaries and how his behaviour could be interpreted by others. Stephen responded well.
“I supported Stephen with motivation and in building his employability skills. I also liaised closely with his Offender Manager to check his suitability for a CSCS course and spoke to the provider to explain Stephen’s additional needs and behaviour traits. In the lead up to the course, Stephen attended weekly sessions on boundaries and dealing with new people.
“On the day of his enrolment for the CSCS, Stephen struggled when asked questions, as he had not taken his medication. As the CSCS provider was already aware of Stephen’s additional needs, they were understanding of the situation. I was able to help Stephen reflect, and Stephen spoke to the provider and explained the situation.
“Stephen was able to attend the course and he was encouraged to take his medication to help him focus. I spoke to him daily during the course, and Stephen achieved his CSCS qualification.
“Stephen continues to work with myself and is now even more focused on gaining employment in the construction industry.
“Due to the clear communication between myself, the CSCS provider and Stephen, he was able to pursue his goal, and be open and honest about his additional needs. This was vital in helping Stephen put in place strategies on which he could build for the future.”
* Stephen is not the participant’s real name and has been changed to protect his identity