The transformational work of Rugby based charity Futures Unlocked was praised in the House of Commons this week by local MP Mark Pawsey and the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, the Rt. Hon. David Gauke MP.
Futures Unlocked works with ex-offenders to offer mentoring, support and employment opportunities to cut re-offending rates and give those who have served their sentence the chance to make a fresh start in life. As well as the personalised mentoring they provide to those recently released from prison, the charity also runs a community café & art gallery called ‘Moriarty’s’ on Regent Street in Rugby town centre.
Moriarty’s provides those working with Futures Unlocked with the opportunity to earn qualifications and work experience, helping them to get back on their feet. The café is also a great place to see local art and has community rooms which are available to hire to help support the work of Futures Unlocked. The café is currently open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9.30am until noon.
During questions to Ministers in the Ministry of Justice, Mark spoke about the impact which Futures Unlocked has on those who they work with and their success in reducing reoffending rates. In his response, the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, the Rt. Hon. David Gauke MP, paid tribute to the employers and charities who provide opportunities for ex-offenders and confirmed the government’s ongoing focus on rehabilitation within the Ministry of Justice.
“Bringing down re-offending rates is one of the key things that we can do to reduce crime. The work of local charities like Futures Unlocked is a very effective way of doing this and their results –re-offending rates after working with them are nearly half the national average – speak for themselves.”
“I’ve visited both ‘Moriarty’s’ and Futures Unlocked to see for myself the work which they do and talk to those they are helping to support people to find their feet again. Employment is a route back towards a stable and productive life, and Futures Unlocked really help people to get the qualifications, skills and help they need after a prison sentence.”
Jackie Oglethorpe, a Trustee of Futures Unlocked, added:
“We are very grateful for Mark’s support and awareness raising of our work at Futures Unlocked and Moriarty’s. At Future’s Unlocked, we work to reduce reoffending through mentoring and have several projects including a family project which seeks to support family members who are suffering the effects of having a loved one in prison – known as the ‘hidden sentence.’ In 2016, we founded Moriarty’s Community Interest Café in Regent Street which is manned by volunteers, some of whom are clients of Futures Unlocked. Moriarty’s provides a space for ex-offenders to gain valuable training skills in preparation for employment and also reduces the isolation and exclusion that many ex-offenders experience and one recent client said, ‘It is really good to be able to do something positive and pay something back.’”