New project for offenders and ex-offenders, the “Carden Street Experience”,

WP_20150211_13_55_17_ProA new project for offenders and ex-offenders, the “Carden Street Experience”, started  in Worcester thanks to the funding recently awarded by the West Mercia Police.  The IOM( Integrated Offender Management)  diversionary programme is aimed at a cohort of offenders most at risk of re offending.  Amongst it’s goals are to break down barriers to employability with the ultimate aim of finding sustainable employment, and instilling hope in those we work with that their situation can change for the better.


The Government’s 2001 Social Exclusion report found that the single most important factor in reducing reoffending was sustainable employment. YSS has pioneered new ways of supporting offenders/ex offenders breaking down barriers to employment, Based on our knowledge and experience of what works, “The Carden Street Experience” will offer a unique opportunity under one roof where YSS will use their extensive network of partners to deliver joined up services to participants.


Carden Street is in Worcester City centre and therefore easily accessible. It is a customer friendly environment where clients feel comfortable and unthreatened. The “Carden Street Experience” would be a holistic approach offering both practical and emotional support for those referred with a “pick and mix” menu all under one roof in a relaxed and informal setting. This  menu will include carpentry, YSS WP_20150211_13_56_24_ProMental health support sessions, independent living skills, employment workshops, as well as identifying any external courses, this to meet the needs of the client group . There may be the opportunity for volunteering and work placements within YSS Carden Street, such as in the Carden St. Cafe and in construction.


WP_20150211_13_54_03_ProThe Carden Street Experience is a 6 week programme for 2 x days per week (Wednesday and Thursday). With many of the IOM cohort experiencing chaotic lifestyles and suffering from low self-esteem and confidence, this co-ordinated approach is designed to make it as easy as possible for participants to engage with services and for us to be able to address multiple issues at the same time, under one roof. This will help to avoid duplication and enable us to tailor the service to the individual. This is what makes this project different and is what our clients tell us they want.  YSS staff will be responsible for delivering the individual sessions in their area of expertise.  As well as utilising partner agencies, as at YSS we understand that you can not work in isolation when supporting chaotic offenders with multiple needs.


On completion of their  six weeks  they will be given a Completers Pack (Identification (citizens card/birth certificate, memory stick, interview/work clothing/ hairdresser voucher)  and participants will still be able to attend Carden Street regularly to attend Job Club and Talk Talk Mental Health sessions as required.


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