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Commendation for helping to reduce reoffending

Employees at UK Power Networks have received a new commendation from Suffolk’s Highpoint Prison for their voluntary work in helping to reduce risk of offending upon release.

From Press releases - 14 February 2017 12:00 AM

UK Power Networks was presented with the prison’s People Award, a new honour that recognises exceptional work a partner organisation has done to help point former offenders towards a better path in life. The electricity company which was last week named Utility of the Year, has long worked with Highpoint Prison, from hosting workshops encouraging local employers to give former offenders a second chance, to giving a mini digger and a Transit van to help train prisoners for practical trades.
Training centre supervisor Gaye Goddard is based at the company’s Bury St Edmunds office and has been involved in all the projects. She said: “I can honestly say I love the work I do at Highpoint. It is so rewarding. We were very surprised to receive the award and very honoured too.”

She regularly visits the prison in a mentor role, to help offenders write their CVs, chat to them about prospects and offer job interview tips. She and colleagues have also been instrumental in setting up a ‘business scorecard’ that has helped the prison develop a five-year action plan, structuring how they will further engage with community partners.

Gaye added: “We put a lot of time and effort into the voluntary work so it is nice to be recognised in this way. It also shows the great relationship we have developed with prison staff and inmates alike.”

Lisa Haworth, business and community engagement manager at Highpoint, said: “UK Power Networks first visited Highpoint in 2011 at the first employer engagement events in partnership with Business in the Community.

“Jason Carmichael (head of technical training) and Gaye Goddard have been ever present since that meeting and their input and support of our work has been invaluable. Their support is very tangible and has been very much appreciated. This type of skills training is vital to help reducing reoffending, and for prisoners to find sustained employment on release.

“This is a new award we have created and it is very fitting that UK Power Networks are the first recipient.”