Social enterprise lands contract to help ex-prisoners become self-employed

A social enterprise is rolling out its self-employment service across five North West prisons this month, which will allow 100 inmates to establish a new future upon release.

Bolton-based Entrepreneurs Unlocked, works with people in prison and on probation, providing specialist programmes, advice, and ongoing support, to help people on a new self-employed pathway.

His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service awarded the contract to Entrepreneurs Unlocked, and the five prisons set to receive the Self-Employment Service are HMP Buckley Hall in Rochdale, HMP Hindley, HMP Liverpool, and HMP Risley and HMP Thorn Cross in Warrington.

David Morgan, director, and founder of Entrepreneurs Unlocked, said: “I am delighted to be working with these prisons and I am looking forward to helping the prisoners who get involved on the course, on their new self-employed pathway.

“With re-offending rates still stubbornly high, it is essential that we provide people in prison with an opportunity to work on realistic employment pathways, including self-employed work, where they can become positive contributors to society, and they can begin to see a new future for themselves and their families.

“Since I started Entrepreneurs Unlocked five years ago, I have helped almost 1000 people in prison and on probation to explore becoming self-employed, and many are now running successful businesses. I look forward to being part of many more success stories to come.”

Nicola Thomas, prison employment lead at HMP Buckley Hall in Rochdale, said: “HMP Buckley Hall has been fortunate to have had the support of Entrepreneurs Unlocked’ for more than two years. David provides an invaluable support offer to those residing at HMP Buckley Hall who want to explore the different aspects of self-employment and starting your own business.

“Working closely with myself, the Prison Employment Lead, and working from the Employment Hub David has been able to engage with a range of prisoners at HMP Buckley, including those who are due for release and those progressing onto Cat D, open conditions.

“Supporting prisoners one to one and within groups, Davids’s guidance and knowledge has given our prisoners the confidence and belief that they can achieve their career aim. HMP Buckley Hall is grateful of the support from Entrepreneurs Unlocked in supporting the prisons wider aim to enable prisoners to progress into meaningful employment on release.”

The Entrepreneurs Unlocked Self-Employment Service will work with people in prison, working on their entrepreneurial skills exploration through group sessions and one-to-one activities, both in prison and upon release, with a varied programme of support and online coaching.

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