Transform Housing & Support’s sold-out charity fundraising lunch, held at The Clink, HMP High Down, raised a fantastic £2,200 in vital funds.
Guests were treated to speeches from the High Sheriff of Surrey and Transform’s Vice Chairman, Elizabeth Kennedy, The Clink founder, Al Crisci, and Head of Surrey Youth Support Service at Surrey County Council, Ben Byrne. The guest list included Chairman of Mole Valley District Council, Margaret Cooksey and Mayor of Elmbridge Borough Council, Jan Fuller (pictured).
Elizabeth explained how Transform supports offenders to build a life away from crime:
“Last year 45% of prisoners were reconvicted within just one year of release. In comparison, over the past 10 years Transform has seen a reoffending rate of just 13% in our ex-offender accommodation. The secret to our success is partnership. We work in partnership with our clients, helping them to set their own goals and supporting them to achieve them, and we also work in close partnership with other agencies. It would be impossible for a single agency to have expertise in all these areas – but by working together we can give offenders the best possible chance to rebuild their lives.”
Transform client Lee, received support to break the cycle of alcohol use, homelessness and offending. Lee started drinking at the age of 15 and didn’t stop for 20 years. When he drank he would offend – and over the years he built up a string of charges. He was homeless and going in and out of custody.
For Lee, moving to Transform was the first step in breaking the cycle of repeat offending. He said:
“It was amazing to know I had four walls and a roof. My life was peaceful for the first time – I stopped drinking and getting into trouble. Transform gave me a second chance, without them I don’t like to think about where I would be – probably in prison or dead. They have made my life so much better in the long run, the word ‘Transform’ says it all!”