Goodwill Solutions CIO has awarded a community grant to Beyond Recovery CIC for its new National Prison Radio show. Read on for the inspiring story behind the project and the community grant award.

The journey towards release

Beyond Recovery (BR) has worked with prisoners on their journey towards release since 2014, using their Three Principles based model to improve mental health and bring behavioural change to many returning citizens.

However, the reality of the in-prison Covid lockdown – with prisoners kept in their cells for up to 23 hours a day – presented a huge new challenge. Beyond Recovery’s answer was to create activity packs bearing the key messages of their programme. They were distributed to over 50 prisons across the UK. BR also developed a COVID-safe Distance Learning Programme (DLP) which has been piloted at HMP Onley. It is also due to be rolled out at HMP’s Ranby and Nottingham.

Now, BR has developed digital versions of the programme for the probation service. Part of their new approach was to research other communication channels serving the prison population to meet the needs of its neurodiverse population.

Radio show potential

To that end, Beyond Recovery has been discussing with National Prison Radio the opportunity to create a show which would enhance the learners’ experience of the DLP. Notably, both BR’s DLP and its radio show are being produced by returning residents who now work with the social enterprise to deliver its programmes.

Having met with Prison Radio and received a very favourable response, the BR team needed to source funding at a time when traditional options were unavailable to them. A fortuitous conversation with a fellow member of the Corbett Network*  provided them with a possible solution. The Charitable Incorporated Organisation division of the Goodwill Solutions Group was inviting submissions for small grants from organisations supporting key disadvantaged groups. One such group was people with previous criminal convictions.

Community Grant awarded

Beyond Recovery already knew of Goodwill Solutions CIC as a Logistics Social Enterprise based in Northampton which had worked for many years to improve opportunities among their local community. In 2019 Jacqueline and Rob Hollows met its CEO and facilitated a visit to HMP Onley so he could see first hand the impact their programmes had on prisoners nearing release.

Although the application process was conducted online rather than face-to-face due to the lockdown, Jacqueline and Rob finally presented their proposal to the Trustees of Goodwill Solutions CIO in November. Soon afterwards, they received great news –Goodwill Solutions CIO had awarded them a community grant of £5000 for their National Prison Radio show.

What it means

Jacqueline Hollows ( Founder & CEO ) said “I’m delighted to have been successful with our application for this grant. I’ve long admired the work of Goodwill Solutions and hoped for a chance to collaborate. I feel the addition of a radio show to our Distance Learning Programmes will be super impactful for those residents who learn in different ways. I’m also excited because people with lived experience – Derrick and Omar – will be creating the programme. Since working with them, Beyond Recovery has a deeper understanding of the issues people face while in custody and upon release. The added bonus is that the radio show will be available on NPR’s Streamline website for families and returning residents!”

Damian Pickard, Strategic Development Director, said on behalf of Goodwill Solutions: “The Beyond Recovery program sounded like a great opportunity to increase engagement and support for prisoners adversely disadvantaged by the current in-cell lockdown and to improve their overall wellbeing. The Trustees were very happy to support Jacqueline and Rob in this endeavour.”

*a nationwide community of organisation committed to supporting the re-integration of people with convictions

For more information on Goodwill Solutions, click here: