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Restart Recreational Activity Day – ‘The Titan’

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The purpose of our Restart service is to assist those previously labelled as an ‘offender’, helping them rehabilitate and reintegrate back into society. We recognise that our clients have, in a lot of cases, experienced a lifetime of personal challenges. Our goal is to do everything we can to help them get their lives back on track as valued members of society. Our dedicated Restart team provide support and guidance on a daily basis, whether that be through housing advice, employability training and life skills development.

Recently, we had the opportunity to take this a step further and do something a little different for our clients. In March 2018, eight of our service users enjoyed a recreational activity day at ‘Zip World Slate Caverns’ in Wales.

We pick up with Saltbox’s Restart Chaplain and organiser, Thomas Simm.

“Earlier this year Saltbox received a grant from the Lichfield Diocese Growth Fund. The grant allowed us to take clients who typically come from a poverty-stricken background in Stoke-on-Trent to a similar location elsewhere in the UK. It’s important to remember some of our clients haven’t really been outside of Stoke before so the aim here really was to broaden their horizons”

And what better way to do this than on ‘The Titan’ – currently the largest zip line zone in Europe – located at Slate Caverns, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Wales. The group was able to enjoy some stunning views while sailing over 2,000 metres across the Welsh mountains and quarry.

“We wanted our clients to experience some new frontiers” says Thomas, “And by flying over the top for the world at up to 40mph they certainly got a different perspective”

“We chose clients who had been engaging well with the Restart service and who we felt would benefit from the trip. From our perspective, it was also an opportunity to build closer relationships outside of the usual service environment.”

Tom, who worked in the prison service for several years prior to joining Saltbox in February 2017, is a firm believer in Restart’s support and rehabilitation work.

“Nobody is born to commit a crime. In most cases, circumstances have dictated the choices people have made. At Restart, we aim to get their lives back on track, open doors and help them realise their potential. It’s all about helping individuals grow in both humanity and education, develop life skills and positive social interaction”.

We asked Thomas if he hoped to see more trips further down the line.

“The trip to Wales went down extremely well. We all really enjoyed it and the clients appreciated the opportunity. It’s the first time we’ve done something like this and we’d welcome similar opportunities going forward. Perhaps go-karting or something similar. That would be very popular with the service users.”

Saltbox’s Restart Director, Gill Butler said “The guys that went on the trip had a great day and were all buzzing when they got back, it was great to see.  We are keen to continue with this sort of activity because we feel it is important that our clients feel valued. I may even go along to the next activity to give them a run for their money!”

To find out more about Saltbox’s Restart service, and how it helps to reintegrate individuals back into society, please visit our new website – saltbox.org.uk/restart/

Welcome to our new site!

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Thank you for visiting our new Saltbox website, in particular, our revamped Restart page. Our dedicated team works directly with individuals who have a history of offending, helping them find new pathways out of harmful patterns of behaviour. Our clients are supported to gain employment and qualifications, along with rebuilding family and community relationships.

Saltbox first began working with ex-offenders back in 2007, inspired by a Community Chaplaincy programme based in Canada that helped offenders return to society. We’ve come a long way since then and you can find out more in our History of Restart section.

Our Restart programme has an outstanding team behind it, drawing from past working experience across prisons, victim support, health and safety, mental health, coaching and life skills. You can find out more about those who make our service possible in our new Team section.

Supporting and, where possible, transforming the lives of our clients is what we always strive to do. Our Personal Journeys page features the stories of past clients who describe how their lives have been turned around after becoming involved in the Restart programme. It’s always good to get Feedback so we now have a dedicated page that features comments from previous clients and also our partners within the Probation Service.

We’re always interested in talking to individuals who’d like to get involved and help support Restart. Therefore, we now have a Join the Team section. Even if we have no open vacancies we’d still encourage individuals to submit their CV for future consideration and opportunities. We’d also be interested to hear from any landlords who would like to become involved in our housing programme. More information on this can be found in our Be a Landlord section.

Lastly, we now have a page dedicated to Connecting Choices. This is a project that aims to provide holistic support for disadvantaged people who are furthest away from the labour market. It aims to overcome barriers, helping individuals move towards and into sustainable volunteering, education, training and employment across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.

This is just a brief overview of what our new Restart website offers. Please feel free to explore. If you have any feedback or questions then get in touch via our Contact Us page.