Posted on 20th December 2019

Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner is affirming his commitment to reducing reoffending by funding a project which provides training and employment opportunities for ex-offenders in Halton.

The Recovery Brew project works with local people that have been involved in crime and substance misuse, providing them with training to become a Barista and serve coffee in a local community café.

The project is run by Change Grow Live at their centre on Waterloo Road in Widnes. They currently provide a café on Friday lunchtimes but the £5,000 grant from PCC David Keane’s Safer Community Fund will allow them to set up a bespoke café facility on site that is open on a regular basis.

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The café will act as community hub, working closely with the local community providing affordable refreshments to those on low incomes and a space for the community to come together.

PCC David Keane said: “Tackling crime and reoffending is one of my key priorities. The criminal justice system is about more than just punishing those who break the law but also providing the opportunities and support to ensure that they do not reoffend once they have been through the system.

“Policing alone cannot prevent people from reoffending and that’s why it’s vital that we support projects like Recovery Brew which work closely with our communities to not only provide employment and training opportunities for ex-offenders but also support other vulnerable people.”

Charlotte Roberts, from Change Grow Live, added: “The Recovery Brew project will provide a viable option and employment hopes for individuals who may have never had a paid job before in their lives.

“The funding from PCC David Keane will help us to support service users to not get further involved in crime and anti-social behaviour by providing diversionary and developmental opportunities in a safe and familiar space.

“It will also provide a community space for community connections including a stigma free place to access rehabilitation and recovery support including ‘meet and greet’ events for prison releases, PCSO community events and peer support networks.”

Recovery Brew is one of hundreds of organisations across Cheshire which has received Safer Communities Funding over the last few years to support crime prevention or meet the objectives within the commissioner’s police and crime plan.