Dean Lynch first visited Challenge 4 Change on a work release programme being successfully rolled out from HMP Thorn Cross. The scheme was set up to showcase the skills of carefully selected prisoners to potential employees.
Dean came to Challenge 4 Change on a daily basis, using public transport everyday, and then returning to the prison at night. In the 4 month period he was here he did a variety of jobs from checking equipment, cleaning, prepping sessions with Chris and assisting in the delivery of sessions to a variety of groups.
One of the skills Dean brought with him was the ability to empathise with, and mentor, young people who may be at risk of becoming involved with anti-social and / or criminal behaviour.
During his placement Dean was released from custody but continued to attend on a voluntary basis. This developed into Dean being trained to work at Challenge 4 Change on a paid session by session basis, helping out with larger groups and becoming an integral member of our “team-mates not inmates” and “teams not gangs” delivery teams.
Challenge 4 Change has received funding from the from the Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner, for the training and employment, on a sessional basis, of an ex-offender plus the delivery of part-funded team-mates not inmates sessions. Funding has also been received from Forever Manchester and the GMP Challenger Fund in Salford for the delivery of out Teams not Gangs programme. Because of the aforementioned funding and an increased demand for both the “Teams not Gangs” and “Team-mates not Inmates” programmes it has been possible for Dean to be guaranteed work at Challenge 4 Change over the life of these bids.
Chris Whiteley commented: “Its great that Dean chose to turn his life around and I am proud that Challenge 4 Change played a role in helping facilitate and reinforce that change”. Dean said “its great to have had this opportunity at a time when I needed it most and I am looking forward to working at Challenge 4 Change on a more regular basis as it really is an inspirational place. I am also pleased that I can pass on the benefits of my experience to young people so that they can make better choices in their lives”.