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GC successfully mobilises team of 31 experts to deliver MOJ contract

  • Wednesday, May 25, 2022
  • Posted By The Growth Company

The Growth Company (GC) is proud to share the story of how it quickly recruited 31 members of full-time staff to support the delivery of a MOJ contract designed to support vulnerable males with their wellbeing, employment prospects and integration back into society.


In 2020, as part of the reunification of the National Probation Service with the privately-run Community Rehabilitation Companies, the Ministry of Justice procured the services of specialist organisations to support people on probation to find employment, secure accommodation and to improve their physical and mental health. 


The Growth Company was successful in its bid to deliver the Personal Wellbeing Service to men on probation in the Merseyside, Lancashire, Cumbria and South Yorkshire regions, with the contracts beginning on 28th June 2021 and lasting for 3 years and 9 months. To ensure we had all resources in place for day one of delivery, we drew together expertise from across GC to form our Mobilisation Team, the membership of which included:

·       Operational Wellbeing Subject Matter Expert

·       Implementation Project Manager

·       Director of Central Support Functions

·       IT Operations Manager

·       HR Business Partner

·       Group Premises Manager

·       Head of Strategic Partnerships

During the mobilisation period, the above team met weekly to review the progress of their individual workstreams, assess and mitigate any risk to milestones being met, and draw in extra resources from the wider GC Group as necessary.

Whilst it was important that all mobilisation milestones were met, the key to a successful launch of each of the services was the recruitment of the four teams.


The challenge faced was recruiting enough experienced, qualified staff across wide geography to work in a sector not traditionally associated with GC. Added to this was the requirement that they are vetted to Civil Service standards prior to starting work. New job descriptions for these specialist roles were created at the bid stage, however, the time saved was not enough to allow us to wait for the awarding of the contract to begin recruitment. With the support of our in-house recruitment team, we began a pre-emptive recruitment campaign, prior to the contract award, so that we could offer roles to applicants at the earliest opportunity.

Recruitment to these specialist Wellbeing Key Worker roles required a strategy distinct from our usual approach. In addition to our usual targeted ads on social media and jobs board campaigns, we advertised across trade journals e.g., Clinks, Health & Social Care Journal, and Drink & Drugs News. A key consideration was how to attract people with lived experience of the criminal justice system to apply, for which we drew on the support of the HMPPS New Futures Network and the National Probation Service itself to publicise vacancies.

Recruitment of our Service Managers was prioritised, both to enable them to build their own teams and increase our capacity to interview applicants on a large scale. Over the course of two months, we interviewed circa 120 candidates for the remaining 29 vacancies, whilst simultaneously implementing a core training programme, to enhance the standard Growth Company induction - the content of which included:

·       CBT for working with people with convictions

·       Mental health first aid

·       Criminal record policy

·       Lone working & risk management

·       Trauma-informed practice

·       ITEP mapping

·       Motivational interviewing

The requirement of the contract was to have sufficient staff for day one of delivery. We were able to secure sufficiently experienced staff across all regions to satisfy this requirement, whilst more joined the teams during the first month of operations, as demand and caseloads increased. GC was one of the few providers able to meet this milestone and respond to the demands of the National Probation Service on the day the service launched.


In the first seven months of delivery, the Growth Company has supported over 1,800 men with convictions to plan for their release from prison, to reconnect with their families and to begin to make positive lifestyle choices.

Using the Outcome Star Assessment and Monitoring tool, of the people we supported during this period:

·       50% showed evidence of leading a healthier lifestyle

·       48% showed an improvement in their emotional wellbeing

·       41% had improved relationships with family and friends

·       34% said they had a more stable home environment

As we continue to develop our services, increasing the number of staff and the content of our curriculum, we are confident that our impact will continue to grow, providing people with the platform to make meaningful changes to their lives, those of their families and the communities in which they live.

Case Study

The Person on Probation (PoP) is a vulnerable adult, and a referral was made to Adult Social Services, however, this was delayed due to staff shortages. He has no family or pro-social friends and had been trying, without success, to make positive steps to make changes to his lifestyle. He has learning difficulties, an IQ of 54 and an acquired brain injury.

The PoP lived with his partner, who had a history of financially abusing him and manipulating him into stealing to fund a drug habit.  The PoP’s partner had control over his bank account and income and was also taking out loans in his name.

The PoP was assessed by their Key Worker in July 2021. His overall well-being was assessed against the Pathway Star, with both he and the Key Worker designing and agreeing on a personal action plan.

Since working with his GC Key Worker, he has moved into supported accommodation and is no longer with his ex-partner, achieving a degree of financial stability and independence. He is claiming Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments, to which only he has access. His Key Worker has helped to expedite the referral to Adult Social Care, and he has been assessed as incapable, and will now receive further support to assist him in his daily living. In addition, all his previous debts have been quashed and he appears to have broken the cycle of reoffending. The PoP was referred to us as a Priority Prolific Offender, therefore these changes in behaviours are an extremely positive outcome for him. He has ceased the use of any illicit drugs and is now actively seeking a volunteering role to give back to his local community.

Read more about our contract with the Ministry of Justice here.