Our blog posts will explore what the amazing staff at Offploy do day-to-day, so we sat down and had a chat with Carrie who is one of our Peer Mentor Advisors. You’ll to get an idea of what her day looks like and have a little bit more insight into the hard work of the Offploy team members.
Carrie previously worked at NACRO in the resettlement support team for ex-offenders. NACRO are a wonderful social justice charity, supporting people with employment, housing, and financial issues. Every employee at Offploy works very hard every day to fight injustices for people with criminal convictions, making sure they are supported in their life transitions after incarceration.
“Day-to-day for a Peer Mentor Advisor, involves having a day full of 1-to-1 consultations with clients to assess what their needs are - whether it be employment, housing, debt management or health & well-being.”
For housing needs, a Peer Mentor can advise on how to submit housing applications, help with searches for private accommodation and liaise with housing officers.
For finance issues, if a candidate is in debt the Peer Mentor Advisor can look at financial support services which can help with debt management or look at income and expenditure to plan for repayment loans.
For health & well-being needs, Offploy runs workshops for candidates on well-being tactics like positive thinking, or they can be referred to professional mental health services if needed.
“All these support services are inter-linked and will undoubtedly lead to a happier, healthier, and more secure individual. It can’t be underestimated how important it is that a Peer Mentor Advisor gives all these topics their full attention, particularly as a client may not have a fixed abode, Therefore, it can be very difficult when applying for jobs, as interviewers can generally ask for an address upon commencement of employment, or they want to know you have stability to make the same commute to/from work.”
Carrie shared that, “one of the biggest challenges of the job is finding long-term accommodation for someone after prison. Finding this stability for ex-offenders is extremely challenging, but having that stability of a secure and safe home environment makes such a difference to the candidate’s life and improves other areas such as mental wellbeing as well as finding employment, because employers tend to look for this stability with applicants.
Carrie was asked to explain one injustice she feels passionate about that needs addressing in the criminal justice system, saying “it is the disparity in quality and range of educational courses offered to men but not women in prison.