“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 as individuals
We provide a range of projects for people who are or have been involved with the criminal justice system to move on in their lives. At Cyrenians we believe everyone should have the opportunity to make a fresh start. This is not about forgetting the past, but rather about looking at how the past has shaped the individual and how these experiences might help shape a more positive future.
Our criminal justice services in Falkirk are:
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.
Cyrenians Lighthouse Service
Supporting people who have completed their statutory order to move on from the criminal justice system. This includes linking people up with services they might need and supporting them on to volunteering, training and employment opportunities.
Cyrenians Mentoring Service has been developed in partnership with Falkirk Criminal Justice Services to offer opportunities for men and 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 others 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?
Your Peer Mentor will have had involvement with the criminal justice system and has first-hand experience of what that means. They can give you personalised one to one support, and they know that sometimes all you’ll want is a coffee and a chat. Sometimes life can feel chaotic and even attending appointments/meetings isn’t easy on your own. A peer mentor can go along with you and help you build your confidence. You may be new to the area or trying to make changes. Your Peer Mentor will support you in finding out about services and other local activities. A Peer Mentor is here for you and if you are interested then please contact your Social Worker or Cyrenians Falkirk Office for more information.
What does it mean if you want to become a Peer Mentor?
As you are nearing or have come to the end of your Community Payback Order you may be interested in being a Peer Mentor. We will meet with you and have an open discussion about your history of offences and how you feel this experience can be used to support someone. It also provides an opportunity to discuss the responsibilities and expectations within the role of peer mentor. We provide a core 10 week training programme and we provide you with the opportunity to get a SQA qualification in Building Your Own Employability Skills.
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.
Criminal Justice Advice Service
Specialist financial and welfare rights advice for people accessing criminal justice services. Advice is focussed on alleviating the effects of welfare reform and on planning for and managing the transition back into work.
Our criminal justice services in Edinburgh are:
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?
- Someone to speak to who really understands what you are experiencing
- Someone to listen without judgement
- Help to help plan goals for the future
- Help to access services and additional support
- Someone to encourage and accompany you to new things
- Someone to share ideas with and to help when making decisions
The Peer Programme is a public social partnership comprising 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.