Our work seeks to create change to individuals. Our coaching work unlocks the potential of people caught in the justice system.
Hero’s Journey™ and one-to-one life coaching
Hero’s Journey™ is our award-winning life coaching programme for young men (aged 15 to 25) in prison. Based on Joseph Campbell’s famous book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, we’ve created a structured life coaching programme that enables young men in prison to move away from crime.
The programme consists of group workshops in prison and then one-to-one coaching sessions with a life coach. During the group workshops, our life coaches support young men to identify what they want in life and how they can achieve their goals, using our adapted Hero’s Journey™ model. After the workshops, young men can choose to receive one-to-one life coaching sessions that can start in prison, and can continue on their release if they are near the end of their sentences.
Our experienced life coaches don’t tell the young people what to do, but instead empower them to make different life choices, by giving them the tools they need to change their circumstances.
Black Hero’s Journey
Adapted from our Hero’s Journey™ programme, and co-designed with young Black men with lived experience, Black Hero’s Journey addresses the specific experiences of young Black men in the prison system, who are over-represented.
During group workshops, which are followed by one-to-one coaching sessions, specially trained professional life coaches provide a safe space and support young Black men to engage with the topic of Black identity, and the experiences and attitudes linked to the individual’s view of themselves as a member of the Black male community.
In 2020 the project reached pilot stage, and two specially trained life coaches delivered the first Black Hero’s Journey programme in HMP/YOI Isis. The young men who participated fed back positively about the experience, but unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the pilot of the programme was paused.
In the two years since the original pilot, Spark Inside worked with Black practitioners to reflect on Black Hero’s Journey and develop the content of the programme further. We were delighted to deliver Black Hero’s Journey again in Summer 2022 in HMP/YOI Isis.
Read more about the development of the programme and the experience of one of our Black Hero’s Journey life coaches here.
We are currently delivering the Hero’s Journey™ in prisons in London and the South-East, with plans to expand our reach into the rest of the country, working in partnership with values-aligned organisations in the regions.
We began our very first partnership in 2021 with Lincolnshire Action Trust, who are piloting the delivery of Hero’s Journey™ to young men at HMP Lincoln, which will be evaluated, in the hope to establish the programme.
In addition, we are delivering one-to-one life coaching to young people (of all genders) in the community in partnership with the Forward Trust and the National Probation Service and Leaders Unlocked. Through these partnerships, our life coaches work with young people who are at risk of, or have come out of being in custody.
Our life coaching programme has been statistically proven to improve young men’s wellbeing, their confidence and resilience, and their decision-making and problem-solving skills, as well as improving their perspective on the future.