What does the word ‘ex-offender’ mean to you? For many it conjures up the image of the angry young man – someone who is highly likely to commit further crimes and remain a threat to society. However, in Midlands Together’s experience, it is much more likely to be a young person lacking all self-confidence – vulnerable and without a hope for their future. The offence(s) they have committed mean they’re very unlikely to get a job, and without the prospect of employment the temptation to return to a life of crime is strong.
Midlands Together CIC provides paid employment to ex-offenders and offers a wide package of construction training and tailored support. They do this by buying empty properties, employing ex-offenders (in partnership with social enterprises) to refurbish them and improve their energy efficiency, and then sell the properties for a profit. The surplus is reinvested back into the business to expand their work.
Midlands Together aims to empower these individuals with the professional skills and self-esteem to secure on-going permanent employment in the sector.
“Ignite Social Enterprise invests in energy-related organisations that have the potential to really make a difference in people’s lives. We have been very impressed with the work Midlands Together is doing to develop people’s professional skills and help them secure permanent employment. They are a fantastic example of a business that has its roots in helping local communities. We believe there is space in the market for more investment in businesses that have the power to deliver real social purpose and benefits.” -Ignite Social Enterprise LP, backed by Centrica Plc