As 2022 draws to a close, I wanted to share some of our Spark Inside highlights of the year.
For the first time, we ran Hero’s Journey in HMP Brixton. Seven motivated young men turned up to every group session, and are now all moving on to one-to-one coaching. More power to them as they start 2023.
New decade, same spark! Celebrating our 10 Year anniversary, we set out our ambition to make coaching mainstream in the criminal justice system. You can read more about our plan for the next decade, and see some photos from our birthday party here.
We piloted Black Hero’s Journey in HMP/YOI Isis. Developed back in 2019 and finally piloted post Covid-19, Black Hero’s Journey is a space for Black young men to explore their identity and come away feeling empowered by their blackness, and proud of it. More here.
We built some exciting new partnerships to coach more young people in the community – with Revolving Doors , Women in Prison and the Criminal Justice Alliance.
We hit a milestone of coaching 50 prison staff including four Governors with huge responsibility for the prison culture & environment. One summed it up: “This has all translated into me being better at my job, which is so important when working in a stressful environment.”
Founding members of the Being Well, Being Equal alliance came together to call on the Government to deliver tailored services to meet the needs of young men, particularly young Black men, in prisons. Watch this space as we launch our report in 2023.
We welcomed some phenomenal new members of the Spark Inside staff team, coaches and our Board, and we appointed our first ever Ambassador in Kenny Imafidon. You can read more about our team here.
We enter 2023 with growing ambition to drive culture change in prisons so that rehabilitation is possible.
Our Spark Inside success — much like that of the young people we coach – is often achieved against the odds. We continue to operate in an extremely challenging environment.
Only 18 out of 122 prisons are running a full regime of activities. Staff recruitment and retention is one of the biggest problems prisons face – but also supporting staff to look after the people in their care. By doing our part to create a coaching culture we want to be part of the solution. We could not do this without our supporters. So, we would like to say a huge thank you to every single person who has supported our work in any way this year. YOU make the difference!
As we say farewell to 2022 and look ahead to 2023, I would like to leave you all with a quote from a young man coached this year:
“When you look at the Hero’s Journey cycle you can recognise certain chapters in your journey. You start thinking ‘I can be the hero in my story, I can go on this journey’.”
Vicki Cardwell, CEO