Changing Lives have been working in partnership with Handcrafted for some time, and have seen the improvements that they have made to the service since they first began.
We see Handcrafted as a valuable partner, providing effective support to our residents, most of whom are socially excluded and have been given up on by other services.
Handcrafted provides a safe environment for residents, so that they can explore new skills, gain confidence and improve self-esteem.
This has been demonstrated on a number of occasions, when residents have been given the support specific to their needs, staff have shown patience and understanding in dealing with individuals who can be very challenging.
We work very closely with Handcrafted and have formed a unique working partnership together, we have seen a massive difference in the confidence that our residents have when they have engaged in this service, and that is due to the staff at Handcrafted going the extra mile, to make a difference to our residents, showing empathy and understanding and without judgement.
Long may this continue..
Margaret M, Service Lead, Changing Lives
I work as a prolific offender coordinator within police and my role is to reduce re-offending, I work with offenders who have been within court and prison system for numerous years.
Handcrafted has been instrumental in providing training, skills and support to help these most chaotic offenders in the local community. To a lot of people going to work each day would be a normal part of life. The majority of the prolific offenders within the offender management unit have very little or in some cases no work experience.
Handcrafted have provided the opportunity to build their confidence, self-belief, working with others and learning a trade. They get a huge sense of achievement working on various projects within Handcrafted. The staff are always very supportive and Handcrafted has become a valuable partner agency.
Simon H, Durham Constabulary
There are countless challenges and barriers between our Fairchance service users and a healthy, productive and satisfying life. We often use the term ‘chaotic lifestyle’ to describe the multitude of issues they face, and we contrast this lifestyle with an ideal that is secure, positive, stable and fulfilling. Often people looking in on the lifestyles of our service users find them intimidating, disorientating and full of risk – it should be no surprise that the same is true the other way around. For our service users who are looking into employment, education and stable accommodation, what they often see is a very unfamiliar culture and environment that they are unable to navigate.
Handcrafted helps to bridge this gap. It’s a middle ground between work and leisure where our service users are building confidence, self-esteem, working relationships, responsibilities, a sense of achievement. As a natural consequence of this and armed with the skills necessary to make this transition our service users are developing goals and ambitions and making plans for the futures that they are beginning to see as a reality for themselves.
Joe K, Fair Chance Project, Oasis Aquila Housing
I have been able to make a number of referrals to Handcrafted of local individuals who have been out of work for quite some time, and who lack self-confidence and experience. It is a very nurturing environment, which enables people to grow not only in a skill (such as woodwork), but to also grow as individuals. Handcrafted builds the confidence and self-worth of everyone they engage with, and provide a second to none experience.
Philippa G, Groundworks
I have referred a number of offenders to Handcrafted. The offenders can attend the project several times per week if they wish to, if not daily. This means that they have some where to go and something constructive to do with their time. They can learn new skills or continue to develop skills they already have. They are given the opportunity to try projects they would probably never have considered themselves able to do. They all take great pride in the items they produce and some have expressed interest in forming their own small businesses on the back of the skills they have learned.
Most of my offenders have then begun to work on their own projects outside of Handcrafted, for example, one produced a bench for a new nature reserve. The offender stated that he feels he has left a legacy for other people to benefit from. Again, this gives them something constructive to do with their time, gives them a sense of pride and self worth. All of this is extremely positive for the offender and helps to deter from further offending.
Lesley G, Durham Constabulary