Mark; overcoming a criminal record and finding work

Mark, a 30 something-year-old male, was referred to KAFE Konnect by the Probation service.  Mark was unemployed and had an unspent conviction for GBH wounding, for which he received a 10-year custodial sentence, 5 of which he served in prison.  Mark has no local family support, only having contact with one of his brothers who lives 100’s of miles away.

Mark talked about the things he would like to do with his life but, confided that he really lacked confidence in his abilities and was often very anxious, stressed and struggled to know how to make any progress, especially with a serious conviction in his past.

As his mentor Becka supported Mark initially helping him to develop an action plan, with key priorities organised into short, medium and longer term goals. This initial exercise really helped Mark to keep focused and motivated.  Becka then supported Mark by taking through the Konnects Life Choices course which among other things teaches how to identify unhealthy thinking patterns, how to practice healthy thinking and skills to manage stress and anxiety.  This really helped develop his self-esteem and confidence.

Becka then helped Mark to produce a criminal conviction disclosure letter to accompany his CV. Such letters help to explain the context of a conviction, their sentence and any restorative justice and or rehabilitation work that the individual has done and what their key strengths, skills and passions are.   This gave Mark a sense that he could approach employers and training & education providers with confidence as he had a strategy to explain his past if asked.

One of Mark’s goals was to secure a role working outdoors in conversation and horticulture. Initially though he wanted to secure part time work which could support him whilst he studied. Becka helped Mark to find work as a kitchen porter in a local restaurant. Shortly after, we went into a national lockdown, and not having been working long enough to be furloughed he lost his job. However, Becka and mark did not give up but instead were successful in securing another role working as a part time warehouse packer.

Following the KAFE Konnect support, Mark completed the first year of a foundation course with the Cornwall College Group.  We also sourced various essential training with Kernow Training.   Furthermore, we managed to secure funding from the Elmgrant Trust to put towards the personal protective equipment required for this training. Mark had successfully managed to save enough to fund the rest of this training. I am very pleased to say that Mark has since completed and passed this training with flying colours – well done Mark!

Mark is now working within conversation and horticulture based here in Cornwall and loves his role.

We (Konnect Communities) are so very proud to see the difference in Mark’s life from when Becka first met him, Mark has turned his life around since his release from prison and is now positively contributing to society and his local community doing a job that he loves.

If you are unemployed and looking for support (or you know someone who might benefit from our support) feel free to contact us for a confidential and non-judgemental chat.