Harborough Grow on Centre
Harborough Grow on Centre Case Study - Richard's Story
As an ex-offender, Harborough District local resident Richard was struggling to find paid employment making it challenging for him to make better life choices and return to the work place.
The Wire Project (Working In Rehabilitation & Employment), in partnership with Leicestershire Cares, is a charitable organisation which aims to reduce re-offending within Leicestershire & Rutland borders. They arrange a two-week unpaid volunteered mentored work placement for ex-offenders to get them ready for work.
In February 2019, Willmott Dixon (WD), an independent construction and property services company, in conjunction with Harborough District Council and Leicestershire Cares WP, interviewed Richard, for an unpaid work placement role at the commercial new office build; the Harborough Grow On Centre (HGC) in Market Harborough, which is owned and managed by Harborough District Council (HDC).
The HGC project continues to invest in the region, with WD aiming to deliver social value targets during the project lifetime. They work closely with HDC to identify opportunities to support community charities, sustainable local workforce and schools and further education facilities within the district.
Being impressed with Richard’s motivation to learn new skills, together with his desire to change his lifestyle, WD gave him a trial placement.
After 2 weeks working as a security gate keeper onsite, everyone was pleased with the dedication and commitment Richard had shown, and WD offered him a paid job at the GOS for the remainder of the build.
HDC, in partnership with WD then volunteered to sponsor Richard to attend a fork lift truck driving course, which will improve his employability skills further.
Mark Perris, HDC, Head of Environmental Services, Economic Development and Major Projects said
‘It’s important to recognise ex-offenders struggling to find work within the district and encourage their rehabilitation. I’m glad we’ve had the opportunity to support Richard and develop his skills for employability. We look forward to working with the Wire Project again.’
Nathan Taylor, WD Assistant Building Manager said ‘Richard has worked really hard to learn new skills and he’s now an asset to our team. It’s great to see his confidence and self esteem improve and we would have no hesitation in retaining him on future Willmott Dixon projects.’
Richard agrees – ‘I was desperate to return to work, but with my record nobody would give me a chance. Now I’m really enjoying working and have a great, supportive network of positive people to help me stay on target and live a better life. I really appreciate the opportunities I’ve been given to get my life back on track’.
For more information please contact: H.Knight@harborough.gov.uk