Thoughts, stories and events to share

Tempus Novo

Sophie O'Sullivan, about 3 years ago

Tempus Novo is an award-winning charity that was established in May 2014. It was founded by Steve Freer and Val Wawrosz, two ex-prison officers who have almost 60 years combined experience working with offenders in prisons.

We have written about the charity on our blog previously. In light of their recent recognition by the Centre for Social Justice with the 2019 Criminal Justice Award, we revisit Tempus Novo's social momentum and current impact.

I soon realised that by giving someone an opportunity and showing a bit of faith in them, you get a really positive reaction…This work thing actually works.

-Val Wawrosz, co-founder of Tempus Novo.

Tempus Novo partners with employers, providing a free service. They walk with businesses every step of the way throughout the recruitment process. They are at hand to welcome employers into the prison and will go into the workplace with the offender for the first interview. Tempus Novo then monitors the progress of the offender and the overall integration process within the workplace. Some of their candidates have never been to prison, but do have minor offences which attract a community order. They offer a minimum six month personal mentoring service on a day to day basis both to the employee and the employer.

It had changed my life enormously. If I had not been working, I would have been back in prison and out committing crimes.

-Tempus Novo Graduate

The organisation has an excellent impact and delivers results. In 2018 alone, they placed 103 ex-offenders into employment. Since May 2014, they have impressively achieved a 98% success rate in securing jobs for ex-offenders who have been supported by their programme. As a result of sustainable employment the re-offending rate using return to custody pre and post Tempus Novo drops by 96.2%. As of 2019, they have almost doubled their target for placing individuals into employment.

Case Studies

Clipper is a logistics company headquartered in Leeds specialising in the retail sector. As part of its Fresh Start programme, Clipper employs 63 ex-offenders (April 2019). Tempus Novo works in partnership with Clipper and helped launch this successful programme.

I think it's fair to say that there is a social stigma attached to people who have been in a custodial sentence… There was some reticence at board level…about the security of our products, what the customers may feel and safety and welfare. The whole board now is behind the project with Tempus Novo supporting and encouraging people into our organisation from an offending background.

-Richard Cowlinshaw, Group Human Resources Director for Clipper Logistics

One Tempus Novo graduate works as a kitchen porter in Arnold's, a prestigious Leeds city centre restaurant. Faizal's entrepreneurial spirit, with the support of Tempus Novo, led to the opening of his own Barbers shop in Halifax. Another graduate Terry is a valued employee at construction company Universal Projects. These are just few examples of ex-offenders and businesses that Tempus Novo has worked with, changing lives for the better and fostering inclusive working environments.

Without doubt, it has been Tempus Novo who have coached, counselled, mentored both the ex-offenders and the managers to create this partnership. Without doubt, without hesitation, I'd recommend employers from a variety of sectors to actively engage with Tempus Novo to understand the work that they do with ex-offenders in getting them back into work and supporting them through that transition from their custodial sentence into the world of work.

-Richard Cowlinshaw, Group Human Resources Director for Clipper Logistics

The charity is a leading contributor to the innovative shift in cultural thought and acts as a bridge as more and more businesses embrace ex-offenders and engage with untapped potential.

If your forward-thinking business wants to get involved, please contact Tempus Novo through our directory or through their website.