“It’s made me realise there is light at the end of the tunnel. It has made me feel valued again.”
We support people going through the criminal justice system to grow
We provide a range of services in Falkirk for people who are or have been involved with the criminal justice system:
- Employability Programme
- Women’s Peer Mentoring
- Women and Men’s Drop–Ins
In Edinburgh we offer a Peer Programme for men who are involved in the criminal justice system.
These services are about giving people the opportunity to learn from their past, recognise what skills they have and to grow as individuals.
Women’s Peer Mentoring Service (Falkirk)
Cyrenians Women's Mentoring Service has been developed in partnership with Falkirk Criminal Justice Services to offer opportunities for women with a history of offending to undergo a period of training and support to become peer mentors. This enables them to use their own lived experience to effectively support other women who are at an earlier point in their own engagement with criminal justice.
Cyrenians has changed my life. I could not have imagined applying for college if it hadn’t been for this course. I am much more confident about myself.
Peer Mentors undergo an intensive 10 week training programme before being matched with people who are new in criminal justice services. They then act as peer mentors, offering a degree of emotional support and positive role modelling and guide them through the opportunities which may assist their rehabilitation and progress.
What does it mean for you as someone wanting to have a Peer Mentor?
What does it mean if you want to become a Peer Mentor?
Employability Programme (Falkirk)
The Employability Programme is designed for those who are unemployed and on a Community Payback Order. The service gives participants the opportunity to gain a qualification as well as developing listening, communication and work etiquette skills and self-confidence. They will leave with an updated CV, the ability to write criminal record disclosure letters and the ability to be more confident in interviews. For those on Unpaid Work attendance the programme may contribute to unpaid work hours. The Employability Programme has been developed and funded in partnership with Falkirk Criminal Justice and Employment Training Unit.
“When I first came to Cyrenians I thought that everyone would know what I had done and that I would be judged. I was wrong on both accounts.”
The programme involves 2 SQA accredited units in Building Your Own Employability Skills and Responsibilities of Employment, both of which contribute to the Falkirk Employability Award. Women attend one day a week over a 6 week period and men attend 2 days a week for a 3 week period. [We also provide integrated assessment, action planning and one to one support when identified as appropriate or for people on Work Programme.
Women and Men’s Drop-Ins
These groups provide activities which aim to positively impact on employability, health, parenting, confidence and mental and physical wellbeing. They are for men and women who are on Community Payback Orders and have been referred through social work.
“I can’t thank Cyrenians enough for giving me a chance to rethink my life and what my next steps will be to getting back to work. ”
The drop-ins, provided in partnership with Falkirk Criminal Justice System, take place at Brockville Social Work Office. The women’s drop-in is on a Wednesday afternoon and the men’s drop-in is on a Monday morning.
Peer Programme (Edinburgh)
The Peer Programme involves paid Peer Workers supporting men who are/have been involved in the criminal justice system.
We recognise that there is a high risk of repeat offending unless people have an opportunity to restore, rebuild and take control of their lives. Peer Workers use their own experience and expertise to bring real benefits to complex clients by building trust, helping them think differently about offending, and helping people to access available support and to develop a plan for a positive and healthy future.
Peer workers draw their legitimacy from both their experiential knowledge and expertise. That experiential knowledge being information acquired through the process of their own recovery/rehabilitation (“lived experience”) and experiential expertise being the ability to transform this knowledge into the skill of helping others to achieve and sustain recovery.
The Peer Programme can help men living in Edinburgh who are over the age of 25 and are/have been involved in the criminal justice system. They will also have additional or complex needs such as poor mental health, substance misuse problems or homelessness.
What does the support involve?
The Peer Programme is a public social partnership comprising of Edinburgh Cyrenians, EVOC, NHS Lothian, Scottish Churches Housing Action, Health in Mind and Volunteer Development East Lothian. The partnership has been developed to explore new approaches to working effectively with those who experience complex needs.