Since 2015, Step One Charity has worked with Shaw Trust to deliver the CFO3 project, a voluntary programme designed to provide support to prisoners across Devon who are preparing for release and help them successfully reintegrate into the community. With support from His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and partial funding from the European Social Fund (ESF), CFO3 has had a significant impact on the lives of individuals involved.
Over the past eight years of the CFO3 contract, our team has enrolled 1,017 participants, but this doesn’t account for the transfers we also supported. Alongside these enrolments, we successfully facilitated 731 bespoke support sessions and 238 educational, skills or development courses. Given our focus on working with the hardest to reach population, we managed to assist 54 individuals in achieving employment.
Our dedicated Case Managers have provided tailored one-to-one, person-centered support aimed at generating the skills, confidence, and self-belief necessary to promote social inclusion. Their expertise has helped prisoners develop their CVs, secure employment, access housing and other essential services, as well as address addiction and mental health challenges. The commitment of our Case Managers extends to individuals in custody and those transitioning back into the community. Through their guidance, participants achieve greater stability, social inclusion, and employment prospects, ultimately reducing the likelihood of re-offending.
In addition to our comprehensive support through the CFO3 project, Step One Charity also offered the Let’s Talk Programme to individuals. Accredited by Highfield Qualifications, this program equips participants in custody and the community with essential skills for managing their mental health and promoting long-term wellbeing.
As an organisation, we have worked hard to respond to the current global crisis and provided additional training for staff whilst creating bespoke material to enable us to reach out online and increase the number of people that we are able to help and support. Through our efforts over the past eight years, we have built hope, connections, and promoted resilience in those seeking a fresh start.
Support for Supporters Initiative
Amidst our commitment to helping individuals transition from the justice system, we also prioritise our team’s emotional wellbeing. The Support for Supporters initiative, funded by Devon Community Foundation, empowers our CFO3 Case Managers through personalised therapies, outdoor peer support, and nature-based activities. Our sessions with an outdoor therapist on Dartmoor who has experience in the prison environment has enhanced our team’s resilience and provides a refreshing break from confinement.
Step One Charity’s CFO3 team: Emma, Megan and Erin on a nature wellbeing walk around Burrator Reservoir.
Voices of those we’ve helped:
Super Girls CFO3
"Thank you" Caitlin and Megan, the super girls from CFO3
For making an old armed robber look good on his CV.
But more than this I would like to say
You two always brighten up my day
You always have a smile and you both can have a laugh
Sometimes you need this in this gaff.
So you two little crazy chix
Are always welcome down the bricks
And you know me I don't like to boast
But I know you love it when I make you toast!
Feedback from HMPPS Staff:
Case Study: RB's Story
Despite a positive upbringing and close family ties, RB faced challenges due to limited social skills and an undiagnosed learning disability. These struggles led to isolation and an unfortunate offense. RB’s determination and the support of Step One Charity’s CFO3 team became a turning point. From completing vital courses to volunteering and job hunting, RB’s journey progressed step by step. The tailored guidance he received paved the way for personal development and professional growth.
This success story is just one example of the impact our Case Managers have made through the CFO3 program. To further understand the transformative journeys and the role of our Case Managers, we invite you to watch a video telling Ben’s story. In this video, we share Ben’s journey and experience with the CFO3 program, highlighting the positive impact it had on his life and how our Case Managers supported him and provided him with hope.
Case Study: Ben's Story
We are immensely proud of the transformative journeys and success stories that have emerged from our collaboration with Shaw Trust, HMPPS, and the European Social Fund through our tailored support and guidance. As we approach the end of this chapter, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all those who have been part of this journey. Together we have made a positive difference, and we remain dedicated to empowering individuals and building stronger, safer communities.
CFO3 Manager, Emma Slater, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in the delivery of this contract over its 8-year lifespan. The support that we have been able to give has allowed people to develop, grow, understand themselves a little better and find a place of independence in their local communities. It has been a real privilege to work alongside both staff and participants and we are all very proud of all of the great work that has been done!”