The Recruitment Junction

This charitable organisation effectively operates as a social recruitment agency for people with convictions. It was established in mid-2020 and is based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Its overall aim ‘to see people with convictions re-discover as sense of purpose through work, and become role models who drive positive generational impact across their families’. The Recruitment Junction offers support and mentoring to individuals to help them re-work their CVs, practise interview skills etc, and become more job-ready. It provides both one-to-one support and guidance as well as group sessions. It also works with potential employers – in terms of job brokerage as well as advocacy, and also to understand any implications a risks involved when considering an individual’s criminal record.

At the June 2021 meeting, Allen Lane Trustees agreed a grant totalling £8,000, to be split equally in two instalments in 2021 and 2022. The funding is a contribution towards the salary costs of a recruitment consultant. The organisation aims to increase the number of people it can help and cover a wider area with this new post. In its first year it has worked with 200 people and placed 85 into paid employment.

MALS Merseyside

MALS (Mentor, Achieve, Learn and Support) is based in Prescot, Knowsley and works across Merseyside.  It aims to support both young and adult offenders, to change their offending behaviour, enable them to move away from violent crime and gangs, and to be absorbed back into society with the opportunity to establish a crime-free working adult and family life.  Mentors help with one-to-one intensive support individuals and their families, building robust and trusting relationships, and work to encourage positive and healthy lives away from crime.  MALS works in the community with people, and also offers through-the-gate support for offenders before and following release from prison.

A grant of £4,000 was awarded to MALS in February 2021. The funding is towards costs of peer mentoring and a package of support for newly released prisoners into the local community.  The outcomes expected from this work include that clients will have better opportunities to remain crime-free; that safe and adequate accommodation is available to them on release; that vulnerable people at risk will be protected from being criminally exploited by gangs; and that overall reoffending rates will be reduced.


Hertfordshire Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (HACRO) works from offices in St Albans and has been running for 45 years. It provides mentoring and courses that benefit people whilst in prison, and also in the community to aid the rehabilitation of ex-offenders. It works to support offenders’ families and also manages the Visitors Centre at HMP The Mount. Part of its work, particularly in prisons, has been restricted due to COVID regulations, and some moved online.

At the October 2020 Trustee meeting, the Foundation agreed a grant of £9,775 for HACRO. The funds will cover costs of running a programme called Caring Dads for men in the town of Broxbourne. This can be run either face-to-face or remotely depending on circumstances. The course will benefit fathers where allegations of domestic abuse have been made, and aims to improve parenting skills and prevent further damage to children. Around 16 men will benefit, along with their children, their children’s mother and any other partners and children the men may have now or in the future. This is because the participants’ attitudes and understanding of what behaviours are appropriate changes as they learn child-centred approaches to parenting.

South West Community Chaplaincy

This charity is based in Exeter, and works across Cornwall, Devon and West Somerset. It has been working for over ten years to provide support to people leaving prison, aiming to rehabilitate and reintegrate people into their local communities.  Its work benefits around 150 men and women each year.  The main focus is through mentoring support, with 35 volunteer mentors working across the region.  People are supported whilst still in prison, and on release into the community.  Feedback from those involved shows that the support offered by this charity helps individuals make identifiable progress in their lives, in various areas such as training, employment or tackling drug/alcohol issues, and helps them to find a different path away from crime.

The Allen Lane Foundation has offered a £10,000 grant over a two-year period. Funding was agreed at the October 2020 Trustee meeting, and will contribute towards the charity’s general running costs.  Outcomes anticipated are that at least two thirds of engaged beneficiaries will achieve significant progress in their lives; and they will have improved life skills, improved lifestyles, and better ability to overcome social and practical problems.

Safe Welcome After Prison (SWAP)

SWAP is based in Halifax, and offers a service to offenders leaving prison.  It works in close partnership with a range of other agencies, including supporting housing services that house the offenders it supports in a block of flats.  SWAP assists with resettlement on release, through advice, practical help, mental health support, social activities, and peer support.  The people it helps generally have multiple complex needs – primarily mental health issues, drugs/alcohol dependency, and a range of social and domestic problems.

At the Trustees’ meeting in June 2020, the Foundation offered a grant of £6,000 to SWAP.  This is to fund the Seeds of Change Project.  The Project aims to renovate two large unkempt gardens at the block of flats, and establish a working vegetable and herb garden.  A horticultural trainer will oversee the initial set-up and training of volunteers and residents, and when up and running it will be wholly maintained and run by residents and volunteers.  The gardening project will provide a useful, therapeutic and meaningful activity for residents, and help with community relations as people will see the work being done and the local area being improved and transformed.


Storybook Dads

Storybook Dad’s overall aim is to help families deal with the trauma of separation and stay connected, and thereby improving successful reintegration into the family upon release. The scheme operates in more than 100 prisons across the UK from its base in HMP Channings Wood in Devon. The scheme helps imprisoned parents to maintain contact with their families by enabling them to record personalised bedtime stories which are then sent to children on CDs and DVD. This improves prisoners’ self-esteem and perceived value as parents, as well as bringing comfort to the children, reminding them that they are loved and missed.

At the February 2020 meeting, the Allen Lane Foundation offered funding of £10,000, payable in two instalments over two years. The grant will contribute towards general running costs.

Finding Rhythms

Finding Rhythms aims to change people and society through music.  It has developed a range of music programmes working in prisons and community settings, led by musicians and artists.  Each project involves the participants working together to write and record an album of music which is then professionally produced.  The project has been run at a number of prisons across East Anglia, London and the South East. Outcomes for participants include: experience of working in a high-intensity professional environment; increased ability to communicate and collaborate; improved prospects for employment and further study; increased optimism, positivity and feelings of connectedness to others

Funding of £5,214 over two years has been agreed at the February 2020 Trustee meeting. This grant will contribute directly towards work in HMP Peterborough – within the closed women’s prison.  It will help fund three 36-hour projects benefitting 30-45 women prisoners.

Family & Friends of Prisoners

Family & Friends of Prisoners (FFOPS) is based in Swansea and runs the Family Centre attached to HMP Swansea. Its work involves meeting with families who are visiting their loved ones in prison, providing them with a range of emotional and practical support, and helping them to navigate the prison system. FFOPS provides valued support for individual families including where children are visiting a parent in prison. It also works with families in the community.

The Foundation agreed a two-year grant of £4,000 per annum at the October 2019 Trustee meeting. The funding will contribute towards the salary costs of the volunteer coordinator/outreach worker. Outcomes of the funding include assisting in rebuilding and maintaining family relationships, and working towards offenders re-integrating into the community on release, and therefore reducing the risk of re-offending.

Tillery Action for You

Tillery Action for You focuses on assisting disadvantaged people to overcome barriers to training and employment. It operates across the Blaenau Gwent area of South Wales. The organisation offers a range of training and transitional employment opportunities from its workshops in the Innovation Centre Ebbw Vale.

Tillery Action For You instigates and undertakes green space renovation projects in the local community, with participant volunteers learning new skills and gaining qualifications. 50-60 individuals benefit from working with Tillery Action For You each year with around half those involved having a criminal background or are at risk of offending.

The Allen Lane Foundation made a £5,000 contribution to Tillery Action For You at the June 2019 meeting of Trustees. This will assist with paying the rent of the Innovation Centre workshop unit. Outcomes of the work include an increase to skills, qualifications and confidence, and better opportunities for people to gain employment. Additional benefits for the local area include a number of community renovation projects – the biggest of which in 2019 was the renovation of the Aneurin Bevan stones which saw 22 people working on the project over a four month period.

Safer Living Foundation 

Safer Living Foundation was established with the primary aim to provide evidence-based interventions which support offenders with sexual convictions as they move from prison into the community.  It runs three projects – a Circles project providing support and accountability for people on release back into the community; the Aurora project which offers therapy and support to people at risk of offending; and the Apollo project which works with young people who may be showing harmful behaviours.  The Foundation is an award-winning organisation, recognised nationally for its innovative work with individuals convicted of sexual offences. Its overarching mission is to prevent further victims.

In June 2019, Allen Lane has awarded a £15,000 grant towards the salary of a Centre Manager at the new Corbett Centre for Prisoner Reintegration in Nottingham.  This new venture is the world’s first fully holistic approach to rehabilitating ex-offenders with sexual convictions.  It aims to reduce the risk of re-offending and support and empower people to live productive and meaningful safer lives.