Newcastle charity claims £20,000 award for its work supporting ex-offenders leaving prison

A Newcastle charity has scooped a prestigious £20,000 award for its work supporting people leaving prison and helping them find work.

The Recruitment Junction recently claimed a CSJ Award, generally recognised as the Oscars of the small charity world for their work in prisons. The charity’s activities also benefit local businesses by addressing skills shortages and reducing regional unemployment.

Founded in October 2020, Recruitment Junction has so far placed 330 people into paid employment. The trust developed with local businesses means that employers are willing to hire individuals many would consider high risk. The charity takes a long-term approach by supporting people into paid employment and then continuing to offer that support to both candidate and employer. The charity also runs ‘inside job’ which focuses on preparing those in prison for jobs when they are released.

Commenting on the award, Beverly Brooks, CEO of the Recruitment Junction said: “Our aim is for Government to dedicate a portion of its existing within-prison employability budget to fund the scaling up of a national network of socially invested ex-offender job finder organisations, operating both sides of the prison gate. We believe that The Recruitment Junction offers an innovative example of high impact work that is effective and scalable, and we are delighted with the CSJ’s recognition and the platform this affords us to showcase best practice”.

More than two thirds of candidates supported by the Recruitment Junction find work and 72% are still in work after six months. The national average for reoffending among ex-offenders is 55%, for those placed in jobs by Recruitment Junction it is only 2%. Nathan Gamester of the CSJ Foundation said: “The Recruitment Junction is a brilliant charity doing a very difficult job, helping ex-offenders find meaningful, long-term employment.

“I am delighted they have received this award, which is thoroughly deserved. Having placed over 450 prison leavers into work over the last 3 years, with a reoffending rate of just 2%, Recruitment Junction are worthy recipients.”

The CSJ Awards seek out the top charities nationwide, highlighting those that excel in innovation and effectiveness in the fight against poverty. The diverse panel of judges includes politicians like Sajid Javid MP and Kim Leadbeater MP, along with experts from various sectors that come together to select the winners.

Each winner of a CJS Award will receive a cash prize of £20,000 and their work showcased in front of an influential audience of politicians, philanthropists, journalists, celebrities, and policy makers as the showpiece awards event in Westminster.

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