Halfords training scheme helps women offenders get their lives back on track

Women prisoners on a cycle mechanic training scheme launched by retail giant Halfords have gone on to work for the company after finishing their sentence, it has been revealed.

The Halfords Academy was launched a year ago at HMP Drake Hall, Stafford, aimed at women prisoners who wanted to train to be bike mechanics.

It followed a similar facility set up in 2015 at Onley Prison in Rugby, which has also seen offenders offered full-time jobs.

Halfords said two women had joined the business as cycle mechanics following their release, another two are due to start employment soon and others are expected to follow suit.

The programme gives offenders the chance to recondition bikes which are then donated to primary schools.

Jonathan Crookall, Halfords' Group People Director said: "We're really proud of the progress we've seen at Halfords Academy at Drake Hall in its first year.

"We believe that projects like Drake Hall are a real win-win for businesses and local communities alike - the more productive people are whilst in prison, the more they can learn and the better their chances of succeeding once they leave.

"We're not just talking about prisoners, we're talking about people who have a huge amount of potential and skills, and above all, it's about changing people's lives and giving them a second chance.

"We'd really encourage other businesses to consider supporting offender rehabilitation and of course we'd invite them to get in touch with us and we'd be delighted to showcase our work."

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