Supporting the recruitment and retention of people with Lived Experience of the Criminal Justice System | News and Events

Supporting the recruitment and retention of people with Lived Experience of the Criminal Justice System

We are really proud to announce that GMMH’s Non-Custodial Health & Justice services have recently undertaken and been awarded the Lived Experience Charter Silver Award for supporting people with lived experience of the criminal justice system into employment.

The Lived Experience Charter is led by Career Matters and commissioned by NHS England, Health & Justice. 

The Lived Experience Charter has enabled us to:

  • Demonstrate our commitment to employing people with lived experience of the criminal justice system;
  • Provide opportunities for people with lived experience;
  • Increase job roles for people with lived experience;
  • Demonstrate that we have implemented the Lived Experience; Charter Values, Standards and Practices. 

The Lived Experience Charter process offers organisations the opportunity to:

  • Review their current approach to the recruitment of people with lived experience of criminal justice across their organisation;
  • Receive training on best practice approaches, as well as site training and support for the entire organisation, including leadership, HR, service delivery and lived experience representation;
  • Be assessed by a trained, multi-disciplinary team of people with lived experience and health and justice/VCSE organisations;
  • Gain Charter status and be awarded different levels accordingly;
  • Be part of a community of good practice with wider Lived Experience Charter sites.

Hannah Kirkbride, Director at Career Matters said:

“The Lived Experience Charter was co-designed with people with lived experience. The pilot project supported twenty two organisations to review their policies, practices and environment to better support the inclusive recruitment of people with lived experience of the criminal justice system.  It has been an incredible process that has increased job opportunities, influenced policy change and brought awareness of the barriers these communities face.”

Neisha Betts, Programme Manager, Health & Justice - Inclusive Workforce programme at NHS England said:

“Congratulations to all those involved in this pilot project. Thanks for your involvement and commitment to this important piece of work and for paving the way for a more inclusive and open workforce within NHS services”.

Bryn Clegg, GMMH volunteer said:

“Many thanks to GMMH for facilitating a place for me on the Peer Mentoring course Level 2 as part of Reconnect at GMMH. It has enabled me to provide signposting and general helpful guidance to work colleagues and community engagement with the local public.”

Colin Johnston, GMMH volunteer said:

“By encouraging people who have encountered mental health challenges in the past to be a volunteer allows for greater visibility that all can be affected and a positive outcome can be achieved with peer mentors aiding where necessary in the community.”

Another GMMH volunteer said:

“This award recognises the strength, resilience and courage it takes to survive the criminal justice and care systems.”

Another GMMH volunteer said:

“Winning the award means that my story and the stories of others have been heard, and that my struggles have not been in vain. It has helped me to get the strength needed to pass the GMMH Peer Mentor course to go on and give something back and help others. I hope this award will encourage others with lived experience to share their stories and never give up hope."

Kim Turton, Senior Peer Support Worker/Highly Specialised Inclusion Lead said:

“I am so happy to get this lived experience charter award for the organization within the non-custodial health and justice setting. It recognises our talented workforce with lived experience. I have been on this journey from the start as a volunteer and then being employed. It is wonderful to be recognised for all the hard work and dedication of the leadership team.

“By getting this award, we bring value, legitimacy, and accountability to the work that we are doing within the Greater Manchester area. I think it will help to challenge wider discrimination within our community and increase understanding that to have a criminal record is no longer stigmatising.”

Tracey Price, Lead Social worker, said:

“As a Social Worker by profession within the Leadership Team I feel the award of Silver for The Lived Experience Charter speaks volumes about how far we have come as services. We have strong ambitions and commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce at all levels.  The award represents this work to date and is just the start.

“Providing a service without lived experience in delivery or influence through leadership is now unthinkable. It has enriched our knowledge and provided a highly influential steer to our service development.

“Social Justice and social change must come through effort and commitment and it’s a privilege to try and match the commitment and effort made by our Lived Experience workforce in their ambition to do the best for the people we support.

“Now onwards - as there is still much to do.”

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