New Gwalia 'Employment and Skills' Service
Gwalia Employment and Skills has a new service as one of the partners with G4S HMP Parc 'Invisible Walls Wales' project.
A total of £3,137,466 from Big Lottery funding (BIG) has been awarded to HMP and YOI Parc in Bridgend to run ‘Invisible Walls Wales’, which aims to work with offenders and their families during their sentence and after release to prevent reoffending and address other multiple and complex social issues.
Over the next four years, the project will work with prisoners, their families and their children through a package of intervention which includes specialist parenting and relationship programmes for the whole family, advice about family debt, training and education, housing advice and support, physical health and fitness and support in moving towards employment.
Our Employment and Skills Manager will be developing the ETE service and overseeing the Employment and Skills Project Officer for ‘Invisible Walls Wales’ who will be based at HMP Parc. The project officer will be involved in all aspects of the day to day delivery of the enterprise, employment, training, education & volunteering initiatives to clients engaged with the Invisible Walls project at HMP Parc and then into the community. This will include delivering services to internal and external partners; supporting relevant volunteering, training, and work placements.
Parc Prison, which is managed by G4S, recognises that, once released from the prison, ex-offenders no longer benefit from the support they received through intervention programmes.
Corin Morgan-Armstrong, Senior Manager at HMP & YOI Parc, said: “Invisible Walls will seek to engage, support, and motivate prisoners through our ‘Family Interventions Unit’, the first, and currently only bespoke unit of its kind for male offenders, where they will work on an individual and group basis to focus entirely upon the importance and skills necessary to repair, develop, and maintain a healthy family relationship.
“The project will also seek to engage, support and motivate the partners and families of these individual prisoners, so that they too are proactively involved in the progress. Overwhelming evidence supports the tangible benefit in reducing reoffending that family focused work can have especially where it works with the whole family, and not just the offender in prison.
“Invisible Walls intends to work and support the individual, the family, and the community in reducing the likelihood of the prisoners returning to crime and prison after release, whilst also improving the quality of life for some of the most socially excluded in our communities, and thus the communities themselves. It is also hoped that this focused activity will help to derail intergenerational offending, which in itself in south Wales sees a disproportionate amount of young boys following their fathers into the revolving door of crime, court and prison.”
Barnardo’s Cymru will also be among the organisations that will be providing the community family interventions aspect of the Invisible Walls project. They will deliver parenting and family support programmes to help resolve the negative issues that can impact on family members when someone is imprisoned.