Only Connect is London’s creative criminal justice charity, rooted in community. Our vision is a more connected, human and just society, where we all choose a crime free life.
The focus of our work is innovation to reduce re-offending. We work with Londoners aged 16+ with recent experience of the justice system, equipping them with the necessary skills, attributes and positive networks to develop and pursue their life goals without harm.
We work in prisons, across youth justice and through our unique Membership centres to deliver projects that build relationships, grow skills and cut crime. Our Membership model offers one single, seamless relationship from custody to community and into future prospects.
We do this effectively; in 2014/15, over 65% of our Members progressed into education or employment or training.
We believe in the idea of ‘Handshake, not Handout’. This means our Members are enabled to design and deliver solutions to their own problems, and problems faced by other Members and their peers across London. We aim to equip a generation of people with the resilience and skills to address the challenges they face, and become positive agents for change in their communities – ‘assets’ not ‘liabilities’ for London.
We achieve impact in two ways. Firstly, we work in prison and across youth justice services, engaging at every point in the custody cycle in order to reduce offending. We see the people we work with as assets not liabilities, with a contribution to make to their families, communities and wider society.
Secondly, we provide ex-offenders with Membership of one of our unique clubs in central and west London. The clubs support Members to support themselves, unlocking their potential through training, support and creative opportunities.
Our hands on work in the community means that we are in a strong position to advocate for young people at risk, prisoners and ex-offenders, drawing on data and evidence to act as their voice in the wider policy and action debate.