Through the Gate: helping service users make a fresh start

“Our TtG service is designed to help service users settle back into the community and give them rehabilitation support once released so they can turn their lives around and avoid reoffending.”

Thames Valley Community Rehabilitation Company’s (CRC) Through the Gate (TtG) intervention helps service users prepare for life after leaving custody. To ensure a seamless transition, our TtG teams work with them while they’re still in prison.

Steve was a male prisoner, due for release from HMS Springhill. Suffering from mental health issues and anxiety, he was being released into a new area as there were threats of particular individuals taking advantage of his vulnerability. Now facing homelessness, Steve could easily have slipped back into criminal activity, and needed support to prepare him for leaving prison.

Acting fast

Working with Steve, our TtG team identified his needs. They also established a good working relationship with the prison’s Supervising Officer and the Thames Valley CRC’s Responsible Officer he’d be reporting to once released from Springhill.

As Steve’s most pressing issue was his potential homelessness, our Resettlement team began a conversation with Langley House, a charity that provides housing and support for ex-offenders. Completing an application and associated risk and health reports, they chased up applications to make sure there was a bed available for Steve as soon as he needed it.

A fresh start

The team worked with HMP Springhill to approve temporary release, arranging for Steve to meet the Langley team. They helped him set up a new bank account, as his previous one had been used fraudulently while he was in custody. And they helped him appeal to the Department for Work and Pensions for advanced benefit appointments.

Steve secured a place in safe housing in a new location, with on-site mental health support and a nearby job centre. “He is now safe and happy,” said Steve’s, Resettlement Case Manager. “He wrote the team a thank you note on a piece of art he created himself.’

How TtG works

Through the Gate has been designed specifically to help prevent re-offending, finding service users safe accommodation and helping facilitate support wherever possible, to give them the best chance at a fresh start.

Through the Gate teams work with prisoners while they are still in custody, identifying any obstacles they may face to resettlement, including:

  • Arranging safe accommodation for them on release.
  • Helping them apply for benefits or credentials needed for employment.
  • Linking them to community resources or professional support.

Based on identified need, service users work with our TtG teams to draw up a personal resettlement plan which they focus on with their Thames Valley CRC Responsible Officer once released

Find out more

To find out more about our TtG services, contact our Through the Gate lead, Zareen Hayatt: zareen.hayatt@thamesvalleycrc.org.uk

*The service user’s name has been changed to protect his identity.

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