Student Life is one step closer to ensuring that our project is fully inclusive, by agreeing a pilot at Hollesley Bay Young Offender Institution (YOI).
Having previously built our reputation exclusively working with students in mainstream education, our multi award-winning charity is now piloting our project work at the prison, having held extremely positive initial meetings with the YOI’s governor and staff.
“It has been our intention for a while now to expand our young persons’ project into non-mainstream settings” explains CEO Richard Stewart. “This will, in time, include many alternative provisions, but our roll-out to young people outside of mainstream is starting at Hollesley Bay. The young men who are residents at the YOI should be afforded the same chances as all of Suffolk’s young people that we reach through Student Life’s projects and this will include training mental health ambassadors, producing a documentary film and residents writing content for our publications and website”.
A steering group including four residents at the YOI has been created and these young men are moulding the existing project to work in a YOI environment. This includes overcoming the challenges of two-way communication and submitting written and pictorial content. Mental Health training will begin with upskilling staff members at the YOI and progress to training young, volunteer Ambassadors. Our existing film production company Unity Films will also work with the residents to tell the story of some of the young men’s lives and the impact of incarceration on emotional wellbeing.
To find out more about our projects and how to be involved, get in touch at [email protected]