News & Thoughts

Social Enterprise Case Study: The Together Group

The idea behind the “Together” model is simple: they create full-time jobs for ex-offenders by building new homes.

On one hand, the ex-offenders earn a living wage, receive support and mentoring and develop new skills in areas such as painting and decorating, carpentry and plastering. At the other end, new properties are built, or empty ones brought back into use, in the communities where their employees live.

The following powerful testimonial is from James, a Together Group employee who had been struggling to find work for 2 years:

“No one was giving me a chance – they were just sending me on the same courses over and over, I was applying for jobs just for people to say no straight away. I really had no other options.”

“I was getting into a vicious circle. I would never get a job to get more money, but if I could get on a good run [selling drugs] I could just make so much– and then ‘bam’ you get caught and it starts all over again. Together has broken that vicious circle and given me a way out of it all. Now I really want to stay off that route and I want to fix my head.”

“Together really gives you a second chance. It’s (sic) given me the chance to prove how keen I am to work”.

It’s a win-win.

The ethos of The Together Group centres around providing a fresh start to the employees by recognising their future potential, instead of their past transgressions. They are provided with the opportunity for meaningful employment and a way through the recurring barriers, such as job market exclusion, that offenders would typically encounter following release.

And the impact is significant.

For every employee who does not reoffend (68 out of 70 employees have not reoffended in the past 4 years[1]), analysis suggests a saving to the state of £37,500. This doesn’t yet take into consideration, however, aspects such as:

  • Saved costs of police work
  • Court costs
  • Housing benefit claims
  • Crime victim costs
  • Property damage
  • Forgone income tax…

The list goes on.

This also doesn’t take into account the significant emotional, mental and social impact on an individual, their family and the community when the employees gain not only a fresh vision for their future but also the means to accomplish it.

[1] Correct as of 28/03/17

The Together Group currently operates across Bristol, Birmingham and Glasgow but is in discussion to reach their target of expansion to 3 further cities by the end of 2018. To find out more please visit their website.