Top cop’s praise for firm that helps ex-offenders

Terry Hughes, Desmond Hue, Nick Greenall and Samuel Lowry at Jobs, Friends, Houses
Terry Hughes, Desmond Hue, Nick Greenall and Samuel Lowry at Jobs, Friends, Houses

A top police officer was reunited with an ex offender when he presented him with certification of full-time work.

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Rhodes, from Lancashire Constabulary, visited Jobs, Friends and Houses (JFH) for a celebration day, to offer one of its dedicated volunteers a full-time paid position with the firm.

The not-for-profit organisation offers training and employment opportunities to ex offenders and those in recovery, working on building sites to renovate properties across Blackpool.

Desmond Hue, 43, and Samuel Lowry, 31, were each given permanent employment, having successfully completed voluntary training with the firm, and are now taking up apprenticeships in the construction trade.

Mr Hue was presented with his certificate of employment by Mr Rhodes – the pair having met “in a past life”, the police officer explained.

Dep Ch Con Andy Rhodes said: “I’ve had earlier contact with some of the team, when I was on the beat, so to see how JFH has helped them to transform their lives gives you real optimism.

“At JFH they show that people do want a chance to be able to change.

“It’s got the people closest to the problem helping to design, develop and build the solution.

“If people are taking responsibility for their problems then it’s our responsibility to create solutions with them that really help them to change. JFH personalises its approach and views these people as assets.”

As well as work skills, JFH promotes and improves worker’s life skills through peer support and ensures each lives in safe, suitable accommodation.

Mr Rhodes visited the organisation’s redevelopment on Springfield Road, Blackpool – renovating a derelict four-storey property into luxury flats.

He joined the celebration event to welcome the duo as well as honour the qualified tradesmen who mentor apprentices and trainees,and the dedication of staff who have been with the firm since its beginning.