For over 15 years, The Message has been running faith based self-development courses in prisons and youth offenders institutions throughout the UK and South Africa.
We’ve seen hundreds of men and women graduate our programmes and show all the right signs to fulfill their potential upon release. However, with no job or safe place to live on the outside we found that many ended up back in their old criminal lifestyles and entered the vicious cycle of repeat re-offending. Something new was needed.
A vision to provide support, homes, training and jobs emerged and the Message Enterprise Centre (MEC) was born.
The heart of the MEC is to provide ex-offenders or those at risk of offending with full-time jobs in one of our 11 social enterprises. As part of this job they will also receive accredited training alongside local colleges, secure housing and tailored Christian support as they look to turn their lives around. It is a model that has proven itself to work time and again and is transforming lives across the globe.
In six years, we have worked with 73 team members, 77% of who joined us from prison. The people we work with are thriving. Our 12-month reoffending rate is only fraction of the average (2%, compared to 29% in the UK), as individuals seize the hope and opportunities they’re being offered.
Most importantly, 100% of our graduates, in the past two years, have gone on to employment elsewhere, giving individuals long-term security and meaning that they no longer require financial benefits and can continue transforming their lives.