Young offenders in London have shown they are on the ball after successfully graduating from an intensive coaching course and now proceed on the Mosaic ex-offender programme with designated mentors.
Inmates at HMP YOI Feltham successfully tackled an eight-week football coaching scheme and will now continue to learn and develop their skills with a designated mentor when they are released into the community. Twelve inmates from a variety of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds completed the course and were introduced to their mentors at a special graduation event to celebrate their achievements. The event saw the successful graduates take part in a friendly match against a team fielded by Millwall Community Trust. The match, refereed by official FA approved officials, took place in front of proud family, friends and mentors of the YOI Feltham graduates.
The initiative is a link-up between Mosaic and Millwall Community Trust, a community development initiative linked to Millwall FC which uses the positive influence of football to engage with people and provide opportunities in local communities.
Zahida Parveen, Prisons & Programmes Co-ordinator with Mosaic said: “Millwall Community Trust approached us as they wanted to team-up with an organisation capable of building on their excellent training and coaching courses, which enabled the continued engagement of prisoners (mentees) as well as a way of keeping contact with young offenders after they leave prison. This is to encourage them to take up opportunities in and around their resettlement area. The scheme also encourages ex-offenders to consider FA Level 1 coaching as an avenue to prevent them from re-offending. Working closely with the Trust, Mosaic has provided appropriate mentors for the trained participants on the eight week course through our core delivery of the Ex-offender Programme training which we run successfully at similar institutions across London and throughout the UK.”
Using football as a focus for this programme is a positive vehicle for the participants and this is the first graduation of the scheme between Mosaic and Millwall Community Trust in what is hoped will be a long and successful programme.
The graduates have spent eight weeks developing their skills on a specially designed coaching course comprising a football physical session in the morning and an academic session in the afternoon. The academic sessions included modules ranging from an introduction to youth work, conflict management, a body language awareness workshop, working with challenging behaviour and dealing with disclosure with employers or fundraisers. Mosaic partnered with Active Communities and NACRO to deliver the afternoon sessions.
Tom Rolt, Community Development Officer at Millwall Community Trust, said: “Our partnership with Mosaic has been extremely positive and effective. Through our football coaching inside the prison we have seen what a difference this makes and the impact it has had. Working with the Mosaic team and the assigned mentors perfectly complements our work with the inmates and it’s great to know that upon release, each of our graduates will be working with a carefully matched mentor to help ensure that they have the support to make the most of the opportunities open to them and perhaps even give something back to the community by helping others in trouble by becoming ambassadors of our joint scheme.
“The educational delivery has also been an important element of the Millwall, Mosaic, Active Communities Network partnership delivery. The opportunity for the young men in the establishments to attain accredited qualifications to add to their CV, are positive steps to an even brighter future.”
Michelle Glassup, In Custody Careers Advisor for the National Careers Service based at HMP YOI Feltham said: “The graduation event was fantastic and it was great to see the participants doing so well after successfully completing their course. This will give them valuable skills to take with them back into society and to have the support of a dedicated mentor once released is vital to encouraging successful integration into the surrounding communities.”