Life-changing project helps save lives too

Clive Grunshaw (far right) talks to workers from social enterprise Jobs, Friends and Houses
Clive Grunshaw (far right) talks to workers from social enterprise Jobs, Friends and Houses

A project which helps keep ex-convicts on the straight and narrow has been praised after some of its employees helped save a young woman’s life.

When Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner visited volunteers and staff at Jobs, Friends and Houses (JFH) last week, little did he know how far they would go to keep the streets of Blackpool safe.

This is life-changing stuff. I was really impressed by all of the work I saw and the renovations to the properties were just stunning

Clive Grunshaw

The next day, a group of workers from the social enterprise, which offers ex-offenders training and work to help stop them returning to a life of crime, saved a woman’s life.

Just hours after the incident on Thursday, which police are now investigating as an attempted murder, the workers were visited by the Chief Constable, Steve Finnigan, who praised their bravery.

Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw, whose office has provided funding to the project, praised the long-term work being done by JFH.

He said: “This is life-changing stuff. I was really impressed by all of the work I saw and the renovations to the properties were just stunning.

“The feedback I have had about this project is really exciting – it is providing a new and innovative way of tackling crime and re-offending.

“This fantastic project is a shining example of how by having the right support for offenders, they can become valued members of society.”

Chief executive of JFH Steve Hodgkins said: “These are people who have caused a lot of problems in the past.

“We are dealing with broken people and we are trying to fix them.

“Our employees are inspired that they can have a career and somewhere nice to live when before they had nothing.

“We find that these people did not know how to live outside of prison.

“But we offer them meaningful employment, accommodation and friendship so they can get back on track.”