Ex offender services

EX-OFFENDERS ARE WELCOME AT RHUBARB FARM


Simon (L) and Tom (R) work with another volunteer planting cabbages

Rhubarb Farm has worked with ex-offenders since the very start of our operations. In the beginning Derbyshire Probation Trust supported us by sending teams of people on Community Service Orders to clear the site, which was chest-high in brambles and weeds.

 

We have been taking people on individual Community Service Order placements since we started and all have completed their placements extremely successfully.


Volunteers on the REACH programme preparing ground

 

In 2011, Rhubarb Farm won a bid to the Home Office, and were funded under the Community Action Against Crime Innovation Fund, which enabled us to employ 2 ex-offenders as Cropshare Workers for one year. Luke Kelly and Ashley Prince were a great asset to the enterprise, and helped support volunteers and other ex-offenders.


L to R.  Simon, Steve Cathcart, local PCSO and Tom

 

Rhubarb Farm currently works with Leicestershire and Rutland Probation Trust to deliver the REACH programme, supporting ex-offenders into sustainable employment. The REACH programme is funded by the European Social Fund and NOMS CFO.


Volunteers on the REACH programme preparing ground
 

We provide a variety of services to ex-offenders to help them move into work. This involves CV preparation, helping them develop skills and finding appropriate training. It has enabled us to support ex-offenders in an intensive and very practical, positive way and we have had some good successes with people on this programme.


Simon starts his IT course his first time on a computer

 

We received a grant from the Tudor Trust, to support our work with ex-offenders, which also funded us to employ 2 other ex-offenders on a jobshare basis.

 

We have thus added value to the REACH programme contract, because we are able to take more ex-offenders with the extra support that we can give by employing Simon and Tom.


Alan Charles, former Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire, opens the polytunnel funded by his Crime Prevention grant

 

Our work with ex-offenders has also been supported by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire, whose Crime Prevention Fund allocated Rhubarb Farm £5,000 in 2013, which enabled us to get a second polytunnel to expand our work with ex-offenders, providing more opportunities for them. A Polytunnel Warming Party in December caught the attention of the media, and not only were all three of our ex-offender staff interviewed on Radio Sheffield, but were also filmed and interviewed on the BBC Look North programme as a good news story.


Tom being filmed for BBC Look North programme

 

Rhubarb Farm welcomes referrals and self-referrals of people who are ex-offenders and want support to move their lives forward. Referrals can be from Probation Officers, social workers, Job Centres, drug and alcohol services or family members. If self-referring, just contact the office by phone, Facebook or email and arrange to come to site to meet Luke and start volunteering.