Fair Shares are working in prisons in the south west – Gloucestershire, Avon, Wiltshire, Dorset and Devon to support Times2 Maths Mentoring and Time Banking opportunities for offenders.
Fair Shares began working in HMP Gloucester back in 2004 with offenders refurbishing bicycles that were sent to Gambia for use by health care workers; this project continued until the prison closure in 2013.
Another popular and positive activity was the filming of DVDs of offenders reading bedtime stories that were then sent to their children; this work will continue in HMP Eastwood Park, giving women the chance to read to their children.
Prior to the closure of HMP Gloucester, discussions began about delivering a maths mentoring project, this came fully to fruition with five year funding beginning in the autumn of 2015 and so Times 2 Maths Mentoring began. Times2 maths is currently running in HMP Leyhill and HMP Erlestoke. Leyhill has developed the scheme exponentially and has nearly 20 mentors whilst Erlestoke is setting up a Maths Football pilot to encourage men with Maths at entry level 3 to get involved in improving their numeracy.
In early 2017 we are set to expand into HMP Dartmoor with a project to develop time banking both within the prison but also to make links so that hours earned inside by the offenders are sent out to benefit local communities and some of the prisoners’ families.