“The three winners of the 2020 Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Reintegration were picked from over 40 mostly outstanding applications. Beating Time won because of the duality between prison choirs giving the men confidence and self-esteem and their Restart project bringing employers into the prison to meet the men whom they could then employ. The Highly Commended winner is the RMF Group whose workforce comprise 75% of people with criminal convictions because of their reliability and work ethic. The Commended winner, Code4000, tutors coding inside several prisons – they are a young charity with enormous potential and another worthy winner.
“I started this Award to honour my husband – for 10 years until his death he was Chair of the Penal Affairs Group and behind the scenes wrote and met many people in prison and after they were released. I always tell the story of hearing this sentence: all men die but some men live on. Through these Awards Robin’s legacy in prison reform lives on and my family and I are ever grateful that it does.”
The winner of the 2020 Robin Corbett Award has two strings to their bow.
Firstly, they organise prison choirs with established choir masters and say that the choirs inside prisons combat the mental illnesses many prisoners suffer. It also creates optimism and self- belief.
Secondly, this leads to their Restart project which encourages entrepreneurship and leads to employment. Employers are invited into the prison to meet the people who will shortly be released – and this has meant inmates being offered jobs after release and sometimes on ROTL.
It is on this platform of mental resilience and confidence that the winner provides integrated programmes in prison to include 1-2-1 coaching, and business mentoring from KPMG.
“Awarding Beating Time the 2020 Robin Corbett Award is an acknowledgement that reintegrating people who have served sentenes into society is not only about finding prisoners jobs. Prison adversely affects people’s mental health, self-esteem and family relationships. Without those, people struggle to find a job and work their way back to normality. Our Choirs Beating Time Programme builds community and preserves mental health through vibrant prison choirs. It also maintains family relationships with regular musical participatory Family Days, where the kids get to perform with their Dad. Choirs Beating Time is the platform for our peer led, in prison, employment consultancy (Inside Job) and self-employment programme (UpStart) supported by KPMG.”
“Having someone believe in you, being allowed to contribute, not thinking of yourself as a criminal and hope and motivation are the other factors and pre requisites to successful reintegration. Reoffending costs the public purse £514,000 per person – it is worth investing in. There are
320,000 children with a parent in prison, many living in poverty, with poorer educational and mental health outcomes. Most of the boys will follow in their Dad’s footsteps. They are also worth investing in. I passionately believe when we raise the bottom rung of our society, we all walk taller.”
~ Heather Phillips, Founder
The Highly Commended winner puts their money where their mouth is. No less than 75% of their work force are people released from prison because, they say, of their work ethic, reliability, and loyalty. The firm is working on the HS2 project and maintain that you should judge people on their ability and not on their past. The Highly Commended winner is the RMF Group. They have given their £3,000 prize money to our Growth Fund for which we thank them very much.
RMF have been sent the impressive Timpson glass plaque and the book about Robin Corbett.
“RMF are delighted to have won the Highly Commended category at the Robin Corbett Awards after being recognised for the training and employment it provides to those who are currently serving in prison as well as to those who have been released.
RMF hope that the exposure from the awards and the successes it has experienced from training and employing those with previous offences will encourage blue-chip companies and large projects such as Hs2 to modernise their recruitment channels and create real social value.”
~ Dara McCarthy, National Business Development Manager, RMF
The Commended winner is a new charity which breaks the cycle of crime by training prisoners in coding, one of the modern world’s most sought-after skills. By teaching coding inside several prisons, it significantly increases chances of employment post release, as well as helping to supply companies with the skills they need. One of their many successes is a coding graduate, Franky. When he left prison in December 2019, he had £46 in his pocket and was going to live with his grandmother. In February 2020, Franky became the first person with a criminal record to be hired by a well known bank.
Winner of the Commended Award is Code4000. The cheque for £1,000, glass plaque – donated by James Timpson – and the book about Robin Corbett has been sent to Rod Anderson, Founder of Code4000.
“We are absolutely bowled over to be the highly commended runner up in the Corbett Awards this year, looking at the calibre of previous winners, we have big shoes to fill!
To be assessed as being amongst those organisations as peers, is a massive step for Code4000. Being fairly new in this space we are absolutely delighted to have been recognised in this way.
We are super grateful to the MoJ and New Futures Network for helping us to make all of this happen and we look forward to reporting more graduates into highly paid tech sector employment.
We have a really exciting year ahead of us in 2020, with female prisons coming on board and further expansion into London and this just kicks it off brilliantly.”
~Rod Anderson, Founder Code4000
For more information on the Robin Corbett Award or the Start Up Fund, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you!
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