Changing lives and alarms: a case study of rehabilitation at GFSL
GFSL regularly operates Purposeful Prisoner Working Programmes, giving prisoners the opportunity to work alongside our trade teams in all roles from electrical to painting and decorating
This provides prisoners with hands-on experience of a new skill or skills that they want to maintain during their sentence, giving a sense of purpose and supporting rehabilitation.
Recently a prisoner at HMP Standford Hill who moved from HMP Swaleside, completed a first of its kind collaboration between GFSL, HE Simm Group (HESIS), and the Fire Industry Association (FIA). While working on the Purposeful Prisoner Working Programme with GFSL this prisoner completed an FIA qualification which was arranged by GFSL and funded by HESIS who also supported by letting the prisoner shadow their engineers. Once the initial qualification was passed the FIA generously continued to fund further qualifications leading to the prisoner completing all the advanced qualifications for Fire Detection and Alarm Maintenance.
Quote from the prisoner:
"Working on GFSL’s Purposeful Prisoner Working Programme is a great opportunity. My head was in a bad place previously but working alongside GFSL gave me an opportunity to be proud of something. It’s a big deal to be trusted in this environment and I’ve had the chance to learn such different and varied skills. The GFSL team were amazing, they took the time to show me how to do specific tasks and were always there to support. My confidence has been built and I feel like I’m ready to go back into work.
"The FIA qualifications have been hard work, especially as I wanted to study for advanced qualifications. I’m grateful to the GFSL team for supporting me with the exams and to HESIS and FIA for funding."
Quote from the Fire Industry Association (FIA)
"The FIA is delighted to have played a pivotal role in assisting a determined prisoner in achieving his FD&A Fundamentals Qualification and Advanced Maintainer Qualification. In collaboration with the Prison Service, we recognised the potential for rehabilitation and skill development within the prison system. This initiative exemplifies our commitment to creating opportunities for individuals to reintegrate into society with a renewed sense of purpose.
"Working in conjunction with the Prison Service allowed us to overcome the unique challenges faced by individuals in this situation seeking professional qualifications. The FIA, as a leading authority in the fire safety industry, was eager to support this individual’s ambition and help him acquire the necessary skills and knowledge.
"Through tailored programs and access to expert trainers, we provided the prisoner with the educational resources required to excel in his pursuit. This endeavor not only enhances the prisoner’s employability upon release but also contributes to safer communities by ensuring a qualified workforce in fire safety.
"The successful collaboration between the FIA and the Prison Service underscores our commitment to social responsibility and showcases the transformative power of education and training in correctional settings. We are immensely proud to have made a positive impact on this individual’s life and look forward to continuing our efforts in facilitating second chances and empowering individuals to build brighter futures."
Quote from Helena Butler, GFSL Justice Solutions Manager
"A special thank you to our on-site teams for supporting the rehabilitative journey, allowing the individual to work as part of our team and for personally taking the time to moderate the exams where there was no one else available to do so. I am really proud of the progress this individual has made, he is a credit to himself, our programmes and a real demonstration that with the right mindset and support, everything can change, no matter what your background. I am excited that the success of this collaboration means not only a better outcome for one person but potentially something we can replicate with our other suppliers in the future.
"The prisoner went on to support GFSL and put his new skills to use; completing all weekly testing and all day-to-day maintenance of fire alarm systems and fire equipment at HMP Standford Hill. He has also been involved in more day-to-day general maintenance tasks and large refurbishment projects with the prison that have been completed to a remarkably high standard. Most importantly, the prisoner has recently become eligible for ROTL (Release on Temporary Licence) and has secured full-time employment. GFSL are looking forward to the opportunity to offer an interview and potential employment to this individual in the future.
"This collaboration is significant because it demonstrates success with collaborative approach to rehabilitation. GFSL were able to offer experience, support and facilitate study and exams while HESIS were able to fund and offer shadowing. The prisoner received real tangible outcomes with industry recognised qualifications, becoming job ready and recently securing employment, but the benefits to his confidence and mental health also can’t be understated. Both companies would like to continue to offer this successful programme in the future."