In2Out is expanding its geographic coverage to include the Midlands. Earlier in 2023, James Crystal was appointed as a Mentor to cover the area. Here's what he had to say:
I heard about In2Out through a friend in Birmingham, who had heard they were looking to recruit a Mentor in the West Midlands. It just so happened I was about to start looking for a job supporting people within the system.
I work part time as a Mentor supporting lads 'through the gate' with their reintegration into society, primarily within the Midlands. My lived experience within HMPPS has been invaluable in enabling me to understand and relate to where the young people are at, as well as them relating to me.
I'm loving being here and honoured to play such an integral part in the expansion into the Midlands. Our launching into HMYOI Werrington feels especially exciting, and an obvious and vital next step in increasing the amount of support In2Out can provide young people in the area.
I currently spend part of my week in Wetherby and part of the week in the community, but as our expansion into Werrington progresses, I will spend more time mentoring lads who are approaching release from there.
Here's what In2Out Executive Director Mark Screeton, had to say about our Midlands expansion:
Having James onboard is already allowing us to offer full mentoring support to a number of young people in HMYOI Wetherby who are returning to the Midlands. Alongside that, we've had a couple of really positive visits to HMYOI Werrington (near Stoke-on-Trent) during which we've met the Governor, the Resettlement and Chaplaincy teams amongst others to get their buy in. We are hoping to start a pilot project with a small number of boys from September, and indeed to recruit a second part-time Mentor based in the Midlands by the end of 2023.