Bridging the Gap is a reducing reoffending project, currently funded for three years by The Lottery, and is run by development workers, Kate Edgar and Graeme Willis. It is an intensive mentoring programme, supporting adults that have been involved in the criminal justice system in the previous 2 years, with some joining the programme on release from prison.
The project started in May 2018 based in Lincoln but now covers a 35-mile radius including HMP Lincoln and HMP North Sea Camp at Boston. It is the only project of its kind in the area and is held in high regard by both clients and partner agencies.
It is known that there are high numbers of people reoffending on release from prison, particularly within the first six months.
• Reduce reoffending rates in Lincoln and the surrounding areas
• Work with clients so they don’t reoffend within the first 6 months
• Help reintegration into society to be as smooth as possible
• Work with clients holistically across all the reducing reoffending pathways
The people the project aims to support is made up of some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Often people that are homeless or living in hostels, experiencing poverty, with little family support as well as suffering from one or multiple addictions. Many also have multiple and complex mental and physical health needs.
The project receives referrals from HMP Lincoln, probation, housing, police, We Are With You, the Council and other partner agencies around the city. The team often work closely with these agencies to provide wrap around care.
Kate and Graeme work with participants to help them identify the barriers they are facing and once identified, they work with them to address them by setting goals. Bridging the Gap is not a statutory service and has no power to return a person to prison if they breach the terms of their license, so participants can be very honest. This means that issues they had felt able to disclose to other agencies, they can to the team, giving them the opportunity to truthfully look at the whole situation which helps to create real change.
Kate and Graeme then help to create an action plan detailing their goals, building a strategy to achieve them. This varies for every participant and includes measures so the participant can see positive progress. Some achieve their goals quickly just requiring some support to build their self-confidence to take steps. Others require more practical support which can involve attending appointments with them such as housing, helping to fill out forms, advocating and signposting. Kate and Graeme have the flexibility and resources to offer a full package of support, meaning they are able to see the journey through to a point where the person can carry on themselves. The work is tailored to each person as no two people’s experiences are the same and there is no time limit with the team working with a person as long as is needed.
This has meant that they have achieved many positive outcomes and in some cases life changing.
For information contact the team:
Kate Edgar – firstname.lastname@example.org or 07413205152
Graeme Willis – email@example.com or 07508292931