Bedfordshire students awarded for work to help offenders rebuild their lives

Three students from the University of Bedfordshire have been recognised for their work on a project to help offenders reintegrate back into the community and turn their lives around.

Applied Social Studies students Shannon Delboyer, Samantha Tedeku and Sarah Gatehouse were presented with a Susan de Mont Award by PLIAS Resettlement, an organisation that helps offenders reintegrate into the community.

The students worked in the Phoenix Project, which aimed  to support Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic women ex-offenders  from Brent and Harrow to overcome barriers to education, training and employment to create steps to rebuild  their lives and break the cycle of offending.

The Phoenix Project Report, launched at the awards ceremony, highlighted aspects of a model of service provisions that can address deep-rooted disadvantage that gender and race disparities impose on offenders, particularly women from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority backgrounds.

Director of PLIAS Resettlement Norma Hoyte said: “We are delighted to present Shannon, Samantha and Sarah with this award. It is testament to the hard work they put into the Phoenix Project and the positive impact they have had on so many people.”

The students helped clients into work, engaged with clients to provide support and action plans at various locations across a wide range of issues including domestic violence, mental health, welfare benefits, employment, homelessness and poverty in Brent, Harrow and other West London areas. They also created case notes and attended case review meetings.

“I hope that the placements have given the students practical experience that can be evidenced in their assignments and that they have a clearer understanding of the specific areas of health and social care that they will focus on for future education or employment,” said Norma.

Senior Lecturer in Applied Social Studies at Bedfordshire Dr Suzella Palmer said: “Norma is a former student of ours, and we are extremely proud of the meaningful and life-changing work that she and our current students are doing on the ground with disadvantaged women and their families. What makes the Phoenix Project so successful is the emphasis on providing holistic support for women and interventions that are culturally specific.”

About the Susan de Mont Awards

2018 is the inaugural year of the Awards which have been developed as part of The Susan and Alex de Mont Legacy Fund, acknowledging the enormous contribution Susan made in her work as a mentor that went above and beyond the call of duty. The awards are about establishing an enduring legacy in her name, reflecting a lifelong commitment to making a difference in the lives of people in society, specifically those who are vulnerable and marginalised.

Find out more about the Susan de Mont Awards here