Tier 1 are proud to work with ANTZ, a charity also based in Greater Manchester, to help Break The Cycle that many ex-offenders find themselves in once they leave prison. Through our partnership, we formed our Through The Gate programme, an initiative proven to reduce re-offending rates and help ex-offenders access opportunities for a better life.

The impact of COVID-19 on charities

In these uncertain times, charities across the country have been affected with fundraising efforts hampered and demand for services increasing. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations estimates that the sector has lost a minimum of £4.3bn in income as a result of COVID-19.

Fortunately, ANTZ have been able to continue their work on the Through the Gate programme as it is fully funded through end of life IT disposal.

IT equipment that has failed or cannot be refurbished in our warehouse is taken to our waste-processing workshop at HMP Forest Bank where prisoners dismantle the kit into component parts, avoiding the need to send any IT waste to landfill. As well as providing training and qualifications, this work funds our back-to-work programme. Newly released offenders are helped to secure and sustain new lives through this scheme which for some might have given them their first ever experience of work.

Changing lives through end of life IT disposal

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were delighted to hear of a recent success story.

A Through the Gate member who joined our programme in November 2019 benefited from several visits from ANTZ whilst in HMP Forest Bank before being released to a hostel in March 2020. That’s where the intensive support really began.

Due to the current situation, ANTZ had to adapt their usual support processes. It is vital for them to build up a trusting relationship with members of the programme, identifying their personal and professional barriers. They had daily calls, messages, emails and video calls to support this. This was the second offence for the member, 6 years apart, and was a culmination of bereavements and a heavy drinking problem which had led to family struggles and subsequent mental health issues.

On release he was given a place at a hostel as he could not go back to the family home and was extremely low and without hope. It was important to build this up and help him to set short- and long-term goals as well as help motivate him to strengthen his mental health. He got outdoors whenever he could, helping transform the garden of the hostel, walking and sending daily pictures of his exercise.

“When I was in prison all I thought about was ending my life when I got out but now, I feel totally different, you managed to guide me away from it”

The member had been applying for jobs but not getting anywhere. He had a basic CV so ANTZ spent a lot of time going through this with him and updating it to a high standard. Within 24 hours of the new CV going out he was offered 3 jobs and took one at a local Tesco warehouse. He was delighted!

“So far I have gained a better understanding of filling in job applications, gained a job, had support to sort some of my financial issues and help to move on from the hostel. Knowing that there is someone out there who has confidence in you makes a big difference, it gives you a different outlook on life. If it wasn’t for this programme I doubt I would have carried on, the amount of help I have had has kept me on the right path and helped me look forward.”

This is not the end of the journey for our Through the Gate members. ANTZ are now working on housing, building up confidence and looking at longer term jobs.

“If it wasn’t with the help that I have received from ANTZ, I don’t know how I would have continued. The level of support that I have received has gone way above any of my expectations, they have been amazing. We have regular chats by text/calls almost every day to see how I am getting along and if there is any support I require. I cannot thank them enough, they have inspired me along the way to try and get on my feet again.”

How you can help

Our Through the Gate programme has resulted in 75% of participants securing employment or work experience once released from prison. As a result, Tier 1 were honoured with the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise for promoting opportunity in 2019 as well as ‘Best ADISA ITAD Project’ at the Asset Disposal and Information Security Alliance awards in 2018.

These results are made possible by our customers choosing Tier 1 as their IT asset management partner. If you would like to find out how your end of life IT can help change lives and reduce reoffending, please contact us today. Call us on 0161 777 1000 or email service@tier1.com

Comments are closed.