Step Together Volunteering has been supporting the rehabilitation of people leaving prison since 2010. Our team is based in Manchester, working with people of all ages and backgrounds, regardless of the offence committed.
Step Together is helping to reduce the number of people who re-offend on leaving prison. Between a quarter and a third of prisoners released from custody in the UK re-offend within a year of being released.
For many, the complex circumstances they face on release present a set of barriers which can seem insurmountable. Without the right support many have little chance of breaking out of a cycle of criminality which is often ingrained in their attitudes, social networks and families.
Volunteering enables people to participate in positive and purposeful diversionary activity, improving integration, building a sense of belonging and involvement and developing a resilience to turn their back on the past. Less than 5% of ex-offenders who receive one-to-one support from Step Together reoffend.
Working in partnership
The programme works in close partnership with prison education and training departments, probation services, community safety partnerships and local councils, ensuring that volunteering is embedded as part of a holistic package of resettlement support. Working alongside other service providers is crucial to ensure we are receiving appropriate referrals, ensuring that our efforts are joined up with the work of others, and to maximise the chances clients have of making lasting changes to their lives.
Take a look at this short video demonstrating the impact of our one-to-one support and the benefits of volunteering for people leaving prison:
“You’ve opened so many doors. Meeting all these new people has helped me learn so much, helped me settle and helped me find security. I love my volunteering. If it weren’t for you and all these people [at the volunteering placement] who helped turned my life around, I could never see it in my mind. Now I can.”
Osmandi, Step Together client
“Step Together makes a real impact on people’s lives. People who haven’t worked for a very, very long time. [The clients] come back from their volunteering placements beaming. Their whole demeanour changes. It builds their confidence, and develops a work ethic. It gives them a sense of purpose, and a self-respect they never thought they would get back. I know if I pass someone on to Step Together, things will happen. Many of our clients feel let down by other agencies, but never by Step Together Volunteering.”
Deborah Gardner, Manager, ECHG Newbury House (Hostel for ex-offenders)