Winners & team members photographed in Westminster Hall: (Front row) Beverley Brooks & Jo Sutton, Recruitment Junction; Barbara McDonough & Marie Petts, Inside Connections. (Back row) Edward Bowie & Samuel Warman, Belong; John Burton, Inside Connections
Lady Val Corbett, Founder of the Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Reintegration:
“The winner of the 2022 Robin Corbett Award has a remarkable story. A former drug dealer and cigarette smuggler, John Burton came out of a 12-year prison sentence determined to change his life. Knowing the difficulty in reintegrating after release, he founded Inside Connections in 2017 which has since supported 520 returning citizens into permanent, sustainable employment in construction, fibre optics and renewable energies, all areas with well-documented national skills shortages. This year alone through Inside Connections 182 people have achieve qualifications (with a 98% success rate) and 145 have got permanent jobs. (You can see John in episode 2 of a Sky Documentary called Liverpool Narcos).
“Highly Commended winner: Belong is a charity which supports children, young people and adults in custodial and community settings with long-term, individual responses to conflict and crime. They use mentoring, creative psychotherapy, and restorative justice. In 2020-2021, they supported 2,335 people, working from within 9 prisons and young offenders institutions.
“Highly Commended winner: Recruitment Junction has a social heart on a commercial mission It is the only recruitment agency for people with prior convictions in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear. Their candidates are given all the necessary tools to get a job: online job search practice, CV, disclosure letter, interview preparation and outfit, right-to-work documents. This means they are positioned to find themselves work in the future as well. Recruitment Junction stats have helped 188 into employment with 86% sustainability and a mere 3% reoffending.
John Burton, Founder: “I am delighted and excited about winning this prestigious award. A massive thank you to all the judges who can now see the great work we do in our communities and beyond. As a former drug dealer and cigarette smuggler, giving back is now my life and I know Inside Connections are going to keep growing stronger and giving more people better chances at life to keep them away from reoffending.”
Esther Wanjie CEO: “On behalf of our team and our volunteers we are so delighted to have our work recognised by the judges of this prestigious award. I want them to know that the prize money will be spent on training of volunteers for more complex cases working with people’s responses to conflict and crime. ”
ABOUT Belong (Highly Commended) – Inspires change and hope by providing long term individualised responses to conflict and crime.
Beverley Brooks,Founder: “I feel truly honoured and nearly speechless, which is uncharacteristic! It is wonderful for Recruitment Junction is be honoured as we’ve only been going for two and a bit years. During this time we’ve helped over 200 released prisoners to find permanent work. And when they stumble, our ongoing support helps to pick them up again.”
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