Launched in 2012, Safe Hands is a five-year project that targets young offenders in the Merseyside area, aiming to help them integrate back into society after leaving secure care. The scheme will support 150 individuals, both male and female aged between 15 and 21, utilising education, sport, media and the arts, to help get them back on their feet and into training, employment or further education, to prevent them from reoffending.
The project, funded by the Big Lottery Fund ‘Youth in Focus’ programme, works with young offenders prior to release with an individual support package being implemented to prepare them for the outside world.
Once released, the participants undertake an extensive programme of activities tailored towards their individual needs to help them integrate back into and build positive relationships with their communities.
At the end of the programme cycle, it is hoped each participant will be supported into either employment, further education or the Safe Hands Peer Mentoring Programme.
Safe Hands has deservedly drawn a multitude of praise and plaudits from a number of quarters during its time in operation and has helped reduce the reoffending rate by 79 per cent.
The 2013 Northwest Football Awards saw the programme claim the ‘Community Initiative of the Year' gong, seeing off competition from Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers.