BUILDING NEW CONNECTIONS FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE

 
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About Us

NewConnections is a not for profit organisation which provides support for prisoners and ex-offenders with addiction and/or mental health challenges who are preparing for Parole or release after a substantial period of imprisonment.

NewConnections provides support and guidance in prison through individual and group counselling sessions and the agreement of individual recovery plans to give the ex-offender the opportunity to recover from his/her addiction and change the direction of their life away from drugs and crime.

 

VOLUNTEERS

John

 John grew up in Central Scotland and found alcohol at an early age as a means of escape from the challenges he faced at home and school. When he joined the Royal Navy aged 17 his drinking was already causing problems and gambling was becoming an addiction. Despite having an apparently successful career, John reports that he “drank and gambled my way through most of my 12 year career… often putting my life and others in danger while doing my job while heavily under the influence”.

John’s drinking turned also to using drugs, particularly cocaine, and his gambling spiralled to the extent that it cost him his job, his home, his partner and his relationships with his family and close friends. His situation made him desperate and he turned to crime through a fraudulent scheme and tried to take his own life several times.

His fraud was discovered and he finally served 6 months in prison where he turned his life around. Quite clearly for John this was his rock bottom. John signed up to a programme, facilitated by one of our founders with others, and in a remarkably short time began to recognise that only a sober life, free from both his major addictions, would allow him to be happy and to fulfil his potential.  

John went on to graduate from a 5 month residential rehab where he has built his commitment to recovery and has found friends both through the rehab and through self-help groups (AA/NA and GA). He now has a flat, a job and is committed to giving his time to give back to those still finding their way into recovery. Volunteering to work with New Connections is one of those ways.

Dean

Dean grew up in Stratford, East London and became involved in alcohol, drugs and crime at an early age. By the age of 18 he had already served time in custody and from that age for 20 years, he was in full blown addiction and crime, sometimes violent crime, so that he served more time in prison than out.

At the age of 38, after another violent crime, he received an IPP (Indeterminate Public Protection) sentence and eventually served 10 years 5 months in prison.

In February 2017 he started a recovery programme in prison, facilitated with others by one of our Founders and and he has stayed clean from the day that programme started. He attended every session of the 6 week course, and acted as a Peer Supporter for two more which was vital in a parole board decision to release him to a residential rehab unit in Hull.

Dean successfully graduated from that programme after 5 months and is now living in his own house for the first time, with his new partner Fey who is expecting their baby. Dean is working as a volunteer with New Connections and wants to pass on his message of hope to those still in prison and caught in the cycle of addiction and crime.

Dean has quite simply turned his life around through getting into recovery and sticking close to others who are following the same path: he is an inspiration to us all.

Services

What We Do

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SUPPORT WHILST IN PRISON

NewConnections support starts in prison with a comprehensive assessment of the client’s needs and an agreement on his/her treatment plan. This will be followed by individual and group therapies as appropriate as well as client attendance at self help fellowship meetings.

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Preparation for release

We work with the client to ensure appropriate housing is in place on release as well as the required level of therapeutic intervention which may include residential rehabilitation and/or attendance at NewConnections day centre for individual or group sessions. NewConnections also prepares a report for Parole wherever this is required and are available to attend Parole hearings as expert witness.

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support after release

Support post release includes meeting the client from the prison gate and escorting them to initial appointments which may include Probation, local DIP team and taking the client to their agreed accommodation. Thereafter the support will be ongoing and will include counselling, mentoring and support in connecting with the desired fellowship group(s) and finding an appropriate sponsor.

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Life in recovery

NewConnections intention is to provide support for ex-offenders so that they can make the fundamental changes necessary to live happy and fulfilling lives. This will be based on a life free from drugs and crime and the bondage to that lifestyle. The support will include Family specialists who will facilitate the rebuilding of connections with healthy family members which may have been badly damaged or even lost.

Call us: 0208 871 4407