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18th August 2015

Focus on the Tameside Supervision Centre

Staff at the Tameside Supervision Centre.

Staff at the Tameside Supervision Centre.

OFFENDERS in Tameside are benefitting from a scheme launched to support their rehabilitation.

The Church of the Nazarene, in Stamford Street, houses a reporting centre every Wednesday that is run by the Cheshire & Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Centre (CGM CRC).

The aim is to provide everything that offenders need in an informal setting. Partner agencies also provide a range of services.

Jenny Archer-Power, senior probation officer, launched the initiative 12-months ago and is impressed by how the centre is performing.

She said: “Offenders can access all sorts of support here to help them reintegrate into society.

“We want to provide everything people need under one roof. It also makes a difference that this is taking place at a community facility, not in a probation office, which I think further encourages people to attend and get the help they need to move on.”

The centre includes computers used for job searches, donated clothes to make sure people look the part for job interviews, and volunteers from Just People to provide mentoring. The Volunteer Centre offers support to those wanting to get into voluntary work, and offenders can also get advice on health and sexual health from probation health trainers.

Mark, aged 48, is one of the offenders who visits the centre every week.

He said: “It’s a great idea. It’s much better than a formal probation office. People exchange stories and experiences, support each other and can have a brew and biscuit. It’s friendly.

“I get there at 2pm and stay all afternoon. I can use the computers to search for jobs, to do my cv, and have got my CSCS card there. I can also sort out issues with the Job Centre.”

Jenny added: “The one-to-one work still takes place in the probation setting. But anything else that we can do to is delivered here.

“We are also looking to run programmes from the centre because it saves people the trip into the centre of Manchester and so boosts compliance, but in addition it means people then come here and see what’s on offer.”

Vashti Holland, training and inclusion officer from the Volunteers Centre, said: “People are often put off thinking about voluntary work because it’s unpaid, but there is so much on offer and there are so many ways that voluntary opportunities can help open doors for people.”

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