Runforever is a non-profit community organisation, set up in Aberdeenshire in March 2023. It seeks to address issues of re-offending and stigma in prison environments and aims to reorientate mainstream goal-oriented rehabilitation programmes towards a practice of freedom and equality. The group promotes a running club as a bridge between the prison and the community that follows pilot schemes overseas and in HMP Grampian at Peterhead in Scotland.  The running club welcomes runners from inside and outside prison, enabling the formation of a community of support and breaking down walls between offenders and the local community.

The project also works with the Media Unit in the prison, and runs a radio show – Runningstories – that gives voice to the stories of the prisoners and non-prisoners that take part, showcasing the positive impact on their health and wellbeing that the project is having. With the same aim of co-creating new forms of value from the inside, it uses the photovoice method in collaboration with RGU University, for capturing runners’ experience of the running club through photos and words.

Runforever applied for funding from Allen Lane at the October 2023 meeting, and received a grant of £3,000.  The funding is towards developing the project and its ongoing costs. Outcomes from the work include improving trust and collaboration between the prison and community, and improving health and wellbeing of prisoners including the quality of their social relationships.

Community Chaplaincy Norfolk was set up to support the needs of people leaving prison and resettling in Norfolk.  It works with people of all or no faith, and aims to reduce re-offending, complimenting the overstretched statutory services that help people.  The Chaplaincy works from St Stephen’s Church in Norwich and runs drop-in support as well as one-to-one all-round assistance.  This can be with issues such as help accessing accommodation, benefits, work, or drugs support, and advice, advocacy and emotional support.  At any one time around 35 prison-leavers are receiving mentoring and support from CCN staff and trained volunteers.

In October 2023, the Foundation awarded funding to the Chaplaincy towards its core running costs.  The grant covers a two-year period, totalling £8,000.  Intended outcomes from the period include that around 60 people per annum will receive support and the likelihood of their re-offending will be reduced; that eight to ten new volunteers will be recruited; and that prison leavers will be supported to successfully reintegrate into the community.

Foundations 2 Change has the overall aim ‘to show men that a successful life outside of prison is possible’. It was founded by people who had been through the criminal justice themselves, and recognised that there were different ways to help people reintegrate back into society after being imprisoned. Much of its work is with repeat offenders, tackling the underlying issues that are the root cause of their offending behaviour. Foundations 2 Change works within the prison, delivering courses and rehabilitation workshops, and then helps the men as they come out of prison, meeting them at the gate, helping with accommodation, finding support and helping them make a new start.

Allen Lane has made a grant totalling £6,000 split equally over two years. The funding will help Foundations 2 Change to support men as they move back in the community. The organisation will help with setting up welfare benefits, bank accounts and other appointments, and introduce them to positive support networks that will aid their successful journey to recovery. Outcomes from the work are that on release the men will be supported into stable accommodation or rehabilitation; they will leave prison with the tools and confidence to live successfully; and that at least ten men will remain free of reoffending for at least 12 months after their release.

Resonate operates in East Sussex, providing a variety of projects to support well-being through collaborative music making in community and mental health settings. They also provide a range of training and mentoring opportunities for Community Music practitioners. Resonate’s flagship music project is run at the Hellingly Centre, a forensic mental health facility near Hailsham. The centre supports adults living with acute mental health difficulties who have become involved in the criminal justice system.

At the October 2022 meeting, Allen Lane Trustees agreed a grant of £4,876, split over a two-year period. Funding will support the well-being of Hellingly Centre residents by helping Resonate to provide one-to-one and group music sessions that are carefully tailored around the interests and needs of those taking part. It will help to establish a women’s ward community choir and enable training for NHS staff to support music making at the centre.  Music produced by participants of the project will be showcased in celebration events at the centre, on community radio and via social media. Around 12 residents at the centre will be supported to participate in the music programme each week.

Anticipated outcomes include participants having increased feelings of connectedness and well-being; increased self-worth; and for participants to benefit through experiencing song writing and music making as a creative outlet.

Gifted Women provide an employability programme centred around self-confidence, wellbeing and community engagement. It operates in and around Plymouth in the south west, and is a relatively new organisation, set up in 2020. Gifted Women aims to work with and benefit women who are experiencing multiple disadvantage. It supports women affected by a mix of complex issues such as substance misuse, trauma and a history of offending. The employability programme helps to build confidence, soft skills, networks and capabilities so that the women are better equipped to access and retain employment. Each cohort benefits up to 12 women over a six month period.

Allen Lane Foundation trustees agreed a grant at their June 2022 meeting. The funding of £5,000 will contribute towards the salary cost of a part-time coordinator. This role will manage the overall operations and support two project workers and nine volunteer peer mentors. Having a coordinator in post will enable the charity to profess into sustainability and growth and maximise the outputs and benefits for all the individual women engaged with its services.

The Croft Visitors’ Support and Advice Centre delivers support for families and visitors at HMP Barlinnie in Glasgow. Known locally as ‘the big hoose’, the charity offers support to over 15,000 visitors each year. The Croft visitor centre is open seven days a week, staffed by a small team that help with emotional and practical support and also advocacy and interactions between families and the Prison Service. There are activities, books and activity packs for children waiting to visit their family member, helping the make the visit easier and less stressful for all concerned.

The application to Allen Lane was for funding towards an additional support worker post. In June 2022 Trustees agreed a grant totalling £10,000 towards this part-time post which will help to support over 1,500 visitors a year. The role will also be responsible for undertaking outreach work in the local community, creating peer support and befriending groups and liaising with local organisations to increase the variety of support available for families. Outcomes of the work overall are that families have better experiences of visiting family members in prison and family ties are maintained, and ultimately that prisoners are less likely to reoffend on release as they have continued support from their families.

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 (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.

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.