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Information sessions

Local events for people with convictions


We held a range of group and one-to-one sessions in the second-half of 2013 and during the course of 2014.

At this stage, we don’t have any further dates announced.

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Recognising the need for a face-to-face element to our work (as evidenced through a potential beneficiary consultation and analysis of user feedback), we have  established an outreach facility which increases our range of support.

It is, in effect, an extension of our Helpline, where people wish either to become better informed generally about managing their lives and careers with a criminal record, or covering a particular aspect of their lives in greater depth, which may involve a level of advocacy on our part. Being a pilot project, we aim to find what works and what doesn’t, and how ‘what works’, works best.

The support combines a mixture of in-house staff who are working on our existing Helpline, and recruiting, training and supporting peer volunteers, to deliver a face-to-face information, advice and support in the community directly to individuals, or groups of individuals, who have convictions.


How do the sessions operate?

They operate as an extension to our Helpline. They are based in the community, and are specifically designed for people with convictions.

The sessions enable people to come together to become better informed about managing their lives and careers with a criminal record. Currently, we’re running the sessions in Maidstone & Medway, but this may be rolled out to a wider area in the future.

We run the sessions regularly, and do a mixture of group sessions and one-to-one sessions.

They are all peer-delivered and are free of charge to attend.


What do they cover?

Sometimes we focus on specific areas, sometimes on recent changes, and sometimes we run open drop-in sessions. We try to listen to the feedback that we get in terms of what would be useful for the next session.

Previous sessions have looked at:

  1. The current Rehabilitation of Offenders Act
  2. The changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act
  3. What’s disclosed on standard and enhanced checks
  4. Disclosing to employers

Based on Unlock’s experiences, the content will cover:-

  1. Attitudes towards people with convictions
  2. Dealing with prejudice and discrimination
  3. Identifying and overcoming barriers created by convictions
  4. Where and how to get answers


Marketing and promotion

We want to work closely with agencies that provide support services in Kent. We have developed good links with Kent Probation, Job Deal, Job Centre Plus and Work Programme providers, as well as many other smaller organisations.

If you work with people who have convictions, and you think they would benefit from coming along to one of these sessions, please do forward them the details of the next session.



We are grateful to the support of the Lloyds TSB Foundation in supporting this work


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