Paul Harrod: Bristol Together
Training ex-offenders to renovate houses, offering new employment and fresh hope.
Started: October 2011
Categories: Employment and Jobs, Business
Bristol Together CIC is a social business that creates full-time jobs for people who have been in prison, by refurbishing and selling empty properties at profit.
The organisation was set up in October 2011 with the aim of finding work for ex-offenders through doing up and selling empty properties. Profits are ploughed back into the business.
Bristol Together was set up by Paul Harrod who had originally worked to help tackle homelessness through social franchising. He recognised that meaningful job creation is key when it comes to the prevention of reoffending, but a criminal record can be a huge obstacle to securing employment.
Since staring Bristol Together Paul has raised £1 million of bond funding and has already seen great results. More than 50 ex-offenders have been employed and only one has re-offended to date – a far cry from the 26 per cent national reoffending rate. Many people who take part in the schemes go on to become contractors or start their own renovation businesses.
Over the next five years, Bristol Together expects to help 200 ex-offenders, and other long-term unemployed people, into work through full-time roles on one of its projects.