Diana Flint, High Sheriff of Shropshire visits criminal justice projects

Diana Flint, High Sheriff of Shropshire visited the Telford base of YSS. She joined a staff team meeting, together with YSS Trustees Leon Murray (also Mayor of Telford & Wrekin) and Dewi Evans, and commented “It is excellent to see a little of what YSS do, and to hear about volunteers who assist you in a vital way”.

The projects she was visiting were the Enhanced Support for Supervision (ESS) project, commissioned by West Mercia Probation Trust, Non Statutory Support (NSS) commissioned by West Mercia police, the Bradley Mental Health Project, funded by Lloyds Foundation, and Transition to Adulthood, commissioned by the Barrow Cadbury Trust. These projects are working with offenders, in the community, and are for those who are most at risk of reoffending. They support West Mercia Probation Trust in working to reduce re-offending rates, and for some offenders may also provide support around family issues too. Volunteers are an integral part of the projects and are used for mentoring, practical support, transporting, signposting, and information advice and guidance.

An example of a service user story:  “Rob has been involved with the criminal justice system since 2007 committing a range of offences including burglary, theft, and assault. He was very negative at first but is now self-motivated to help himself and change his life. He has not missed any of the weekly appointments in the six months he has been working with YSS, and has feedback he appreciates all the support he has had from YSS. He states he is slowly getting his life back together.”

Working alongside the West Mercia Police, the YSS keyworkers and specially trained volunteer mentors, work together to encourage service users, who are not being supervised by West Mercia Probation Trust as part of a community order or licence, but are likely to re-offend,  to engage with the service. YSS works with, and signposts to, a number of other agencies who fall under the seven pathways known to reduce re-offending: Accommodation; Health; Drugs & Alcohol; Education, Employment & Training; Finance, Benefits and Debts; Children and Families; and Attitudes, Thinking and Behaviour. 

Deb Grantham , YSS Operations Director , said ” We were delighted that  Diana Flint, together  with YSS Trustee and Telford Mayor, Leon Murray, and a fellow Trustee Dewi Evans,  were able to  join us, as we shared an insight into the work  our teams  undertake with this complex and often  vulnerable group of  people. It was also important to highlight to them the  forthcoming changes  in how Probation Services will be delivered in the future through the Transforming Rehabilitation agenda as well as the ever challenging  world  of balancing reductions in  budgets  with the increasing demands and needs of our service users.”

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