In the past year, of the participants who have experienced ONE SPIRIT projects and mentoring support in custody:

92% declared they felt more self confident after engaging in projects;

94% of those who mentioned they had issues with anger and frustration declared they felt more able to manage their feelings;

91% declared they felt better about their future;

100% of those participating completed their project.

Of the participants who continued to receive mentoring support in custody and access the mentoring programme once released from custody

86% have not reoffended (national average 38%+ – Ministry of Justice);

50% are in part or full time employment;

29% are in further education.

Feedback from Prison Staff and Partners

We have seen an increase in focus, attendance and positive feelings about themselves. They desperately need this outlet to achieve and rehabilitate – this is what HMDT does so well and why we’ll be eternally grateful for their amazing work. Head of Education, Oakhill STC


As far as I know you’re the only organisation working like this … meeting in custody and working through and after release. It’s a brilliant service for the boys and I wanted to tell you how valuable it is for us at Probation.” Luton Probation


What stood out to inspectors was the fact that you were able to open up and remain a safe environment during much of  lockdown providing a much-needed outlet for our young people.  You were one of the few agencies to do this and this was appreciated hugely by the young people we work with and practitioners alike. Furthermore the fact that you continue to work with young people after their Order or YOT involvement is complete provides us with an excellent ‘exit plan’ for our young people and means that they continue to engage in positive activities. It was also noted that through the excellent work you do in Oakhill and HMP YOI you have been able to offer some continuity for our young people from your work with them both in the community and in custody- this is hugely comforting to them at a time when they feel most alone and vulnerable. Basically, just a big thank you for all you do – please keep doing it!!” Merton YOT

Your work is really valuable to us and as such we are happy now to embed it and the outcomes into the music pathway here on Education A. Keep it coming! HMYOI Feltham Education Manager

Your mentoring programme is really important and is doing good work. I heard about it through one of my cases still in Feltham, so that shows how well you’re getting through to some of these young men. St Mungo’s Staff

Keep up the good work, you have a strong effect on these boys; they all seem to get on better with each other when they’re working with you. HMYOI Feltham Security Officer

Thank you for the fantastic project. Staff, students, and visitors were truly impressed. It was great to see you have developed a model that perfectly supports our new curriculum. We have already seen positive changes re confidence and behaviour in our learners since the event – further evidence of the project’s success. Looking forward to our continued partnership. Prison Staff

I really enjoy supporting you on your projects, because it’s the only time I see the boys in their true personalities and really working and enjoying themselves. Prison Education Staff

Your work really helps our learners put what they’re learning into perspective and prepare for release back out in the community. Long may it continue. Prison Education Staff

I like it when the lads are on your projects they always behave better and seem more confident in themselves. Prison Education Staff

Feedback from Mentees

Thanks to everyone on the team over the past few years, I wouldn’t have got all this done and got to Uni without you. From way back when I first met you in Workshop 5 all the way through to working with you on the outside now, you’ve really helped me a lot. Keep in touch, yeah?  One Spirit Mentoring Participant

Without the project I would be back in jail. It’s turned me into a philosopher to look at my life and see other kids at risk and see how they can stop themselves doing the same thing. Mentee interviewed by Children in Need

You guys are good and you’re right …. The project was really good and it definitely helped me to feel better about myself and what I’m doing here. Alex, HMYOI Feltham

I’ve got to show you love still, cos if it hadn’t been for you, I would never have done the apprenticeship or got this job, so thanks. And we’re still gonna work together on music. One Spirit Mentee

Thanks, you definitely helped me get through the time when I was on the YOT after I came out. One Spirit Mentee

One Spirit on BBC News


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