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‘Through the Gates’ Supports Ex-Offender Rod with a Fresh Start

At Fusion21, we’re proud to deliver practical construction training courses to inmates in UK prisons, teaching hands-on trades including plumbing, bricklaying, tiling, plastering, joinery and painting and decorating.

But our support doesn’t stop there – we also self-fund a ‘Through the Gates’ programme to provide help and guidance to ex-offenders who have accessed our courses whilst in prison. Upon release we support people to obtain qualifications and find employment as they rebuild their lives.   

Rod, 46 from the Wirral has recently been released from Haverigg in April, following a drugs offence which resulted in a 15 year prison sentence. After serving 5 years in prison he is on probation for a further 5 years and is now taking steps to change his life by accessing additional support from Fusion21.

He said “Unfortunately this recent stretch in prison wasn’t my first as I first served time more than 20 years ago, but I am definitely making sure it will be my last. Whilst serving time I had the chance to attend Fusion21’s Construction Academy, and after 7 months I’d achieved a Level 2 Diploma in Plastering & a Level 2 Diploma in Fitted Interiors – a fantastic result!

“I had previously worked in roofing many years ago before moving into administrative roles, but the Construction Industry is something which I have always known – and it seemed the most viable career option given my convictions.

 “The tutors were really supportive and attending this course gave me both confidence and a future direction.”

Keen to get his life back on track after leaving prison, Rod is putting his skills to good use and is now self-employed whilst carrying out a variety of sub-contracting work. He contacted Fusion21 following his release as he was struggling to work using an old set of tools.

Dave McGuiness Social Value Manager at Fusion21 said: “We’ve provided Rod with a broard set of tools worth £760 – including a 1600W Paddle Mixer and a Cordless Combi Drill, to enable him to work effectively. It’s fantastic to see Rod embracing getting into work and he is getting busier by the day!

Rod added: “I can’t put into words how much this gift means – I feel like Christmas has come early. The help and support I have received from Fusion21 has been beyond fantastic – both in and out of prison. These tools will allow me to undertake a variety of works for my customers involving repair and maintenance, roofing, installation of kitchens and bathrooms, plus basic plumbing and plastering.

“Being able to work and earn money has given me a renewed sense of purpose, helping to provide for my daughters. I’m now planning to grow my business, and I’m seeking support to promote and advertise my business effectively. I have a really good feeling about the future.”

To date, 119 ex-offenders have benefited from Fusion21’s assistance after leaving prison with 66 individuals gaining additional qualifications / training and 73 securing employment – whilst 987 inmates have gained level 1 and 2 qualifications whilst in prison.

For more information about our range of community regeneration services check out our brochure or contact us on 0845 308 2321 to see how we can help your organisation to make a real impact.