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Bounce Back in the Community

Claudia Vince, about 4 years ago

Having started working in the community and then spent the past seven years training prisoners in the most sought after construction skills, Bounce Back has recently expanded their efforts to start facilitating training workshops in the community. Their community training centre allows past trainees to complete courses and advance their skills following release from prison. As so many Bounce Back prison trainees value the opportunities offered to them in custody, being able to continue their involvement with Bounce Back upon release is valued by many.

Having a community centre is vital to our service delivery and allows us to offer wider support to our participants. It can be a base where newly released people can gather themselves, have a drink, make some phone calls and plan their day.

Jamie Bounce Back Resettlement Manager

To be allowed onto a construction site, all construction workers have to complete mandatory health and safety training and pass the Construction Skills Certificate Scheme test. This can be a daunting prospect for individuals who have limited experience or lower education levels. Bounce Back's community training centre helps people in this position, facilitating courses to help them prepare properly and work directly with a certified trainer. It builds their confidence, whilst also allowing them to form relationships with professionals who have worked in the construction industry for many years. In some cases a relationship between trainer and trainee can develop, with the trainer becoming a mentor and example of how to succeed in the construction industry.

The centres location next to HMP Brixton is ideal. Bounce Back can deliver top-class through-the-gate support, inviting former prisoners to meet Case Managers after being released. These services show to both the prison community and those who have transitioned back into society that Bounce Back offers valuable training courses alongside key support, with Case Managers who are trained to recognise and assist in the difficulties often faced by ex-offenders.

We can offer further support sessions and appointments to those who are already engaged with us. The community centre allows us to deliver training in the community to follow on from our custody training or to complete beginners in construction.

Jamie, Bounce Back Resettlement Manager

With the community centre, Bounce Back can support more people than ever before, opening their doors to people who face all kinds of barriers when trying to secure employment. Recent courses have been open to female prisoners, the homeless community and people who simply want to advance and diversify their skill set. Events with prisoners' families and children are also being planned as part of the Royal Astronomical Society project, Beyond Prison Walls.

This is an exciting time for Bounce Back as they work with new partners to utilise this space in the best possible way. Becoming an integral and valued part of the local community places Bounce Back in the fortunate position to be able to tailor the services they offer to suit a variety of audiences, whilst always keeping the focus on helping people secure permanent employment.