Restart is a Prison Programme that helps people develop the skills they need to start their own small business or find work on their release. It’s a collaboration between three innovative organisations.
About 80,000 people come out of UK prisons each year – most of them do not find work. Around half re-offend. Restart is about reducing reoffending. We work weekly with serving prisoners to help them:
- Develop mental resilience, self-esteem and confidence;
- Develop Business Plans for self- employment post release;
- Develop relationships and contacts with potential employers.
Restart is a joined up multi-faceted approach to a complex problem. It is a tried and tested Business Start-Up Course, delivered by Enterprise Exchange and Enterprise Inspiration and supported by KPMG Business Mentors. We help people put together realistic business plans – for self employment.
Uniquely, we are also able to make Start-Up grants to our entrepreneurs. We also support our clients with practical accounting and business advice when they become self employed. AND because people leaving prison face a minefield of practical problems on release, we also have our own support worker. AND for those who would prefer to find regular employment, we have the support of an employers network and partners, Like Blue Sky, who help our people find jobs.
BUT before anyone can find or create work, they have to have a strongly developed sense of hope, self belief and motivation. We help maintain and build this by running weekly choirs in all the jails we work in. Suspend belief and LISTEN. Group singing, helps people manage stress, depression and anxiety.
It gives people, whose lives are often defined by exclusion, a positive community to belong to. It develops employability skills, like commitment, focus and team work. It also gives us the opportunity to put on concerts – to help maintain links with family members and get employers behind prison walls to show them the huge potential inside our prisons.
The Restart Team
Heather Phillips is a lawyer and was a corporate finance partner in a city law firm. She is an investor and entrepreneur. For the last 8 years, she has used music and performance as a tool for developing people, teams and their leaders.
Jane Evans is an accountant and was a director at KPMG. She has worked in industry as a finance director and helped establish several businesses. She has worked with Heather for 4 years. Jane has built the Employers Network.
Phil Ashford started life in the private sector in business planning and forecasting. After taking an MBA he specialised in business start-up advice for marginalised people. He founded Enterprise Exchange with Benna in 2012 and has been continuously delivering start-up courses since then.
Benna McCartney has been a life coach for 11 years, working with people on the fringes of society. She set up Enterprise Exchange with Phil and supports people practically and psychologically as they establish businesses.
Isabel King started life as an architect and ran her own business. She took an MBA and qualified as a business coach at Henley Business School. She established The Real Business Club with Dawn in 2009 and has been helping people start and grow their own businesses since then.
Dawn Edwards has previously been an HMRC Business Adviser (10 years) and a Building Society Manager (7 years). After working with The Fredericks Foundation and Business Link she joined Isabel in founding The Real Business Club and made the move into working with offenders and ex-offenders through Enterprise Inspiration.
“I have known people develop business plans in the early years of long sentences and completely change the way they use their time in prison. They have used their sentence to acquire the skills they will need to start and run their business.
A Plan has given them a new, positive focus and self-respect. These people do not re-offend.”
EOIN McLENNAN-MURRAY, Patron of Beating Time, Chair of the Howard League for Penal Reform and former President of the Prison Governors Association with over 30 years in the service.
“I’ve been to Beating Time Concerts and attended a Business Challenge Day.
The potential of the men I met was humbling. I’m committed to helping realise that potential, by making their businesses work, encouraging KPMG, our clients and suppliers to offer jobs and become customers of the businesses they develop. The UK Economy cannot afford to lose 80,000 people from its workforce.”
Simon Albrighton, Head of KPMG Consulting Midlands
Nicole has spent several years in prison for a serious drugs offence.
We met her in probation. We helped her set up her own design business.
We loaned her money to buy a lap top, registered her with HMRC, showed her how to keep accounts, helped plan marketing events and talked to her family about how they could support her.
Turn a prison sentence into an opportunity to change for good.