WARRINGTON, United Kingdom — British manufacturer Rixonway Kitchens has donated kitchen units to Thorn Cross Prison in Warrington to teach juvenile offenders new skills in a bid to reduce recidivism rates.
The program offers a fitted interiors course run by the Open College Network North West Region and allows offenders to earn a diploma or certification.
The course trains 10 students at a time in kitchen fitting, providing them with a trade and social and life skills that are hoped will help them find meaningful employment and guide them away from committing additional crimes once released.
“The trade learnt can be used to help with securing employment on release, and, according to government statistics, can reduce the risk of re-offending by between a third and a half,” said Rixonway’s Operations Director Nick Greenall.
The company partners with several public and private sector agencies to provide jobs and opportunities to youth aged 16 to 24.
“Allowing our learners to perform a task themselves rather than solely learning from textbooks or watching a demonstration is a brilliant resource to have,” said John Platt, head of learning and skills at Thorn Cross Prison.
“The material donated by Rixonway will allow our learners to gain hands-on experience, which will be key to their education,” continued Platt. “Most learners will leave with a certificate, but if time allows, then they can work towards a diploma. The project means that those who are only spending weeks at Thorn Cross can still achieve something.”
Rixonway is also implementing a program to train young offenders in kitchen fitting, CAD design and making display units by donating raw materials to HMP Hindley, a juvenile facility in greater Manchester.
Rixonway’s work with Thorn Cross is the latest activity in its corporate social responsibility program, in which it works with a organizations to create sustainable communities, such as the Harrogate Homeless Project and the Wellington Hill Residents Association in Leeds.