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Controversial help scheme a success

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: September 28, 2012

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AN EX-OFFENDERS' project in St Austell is celebrating "huge improvements" since it launched four years ago.

An open day on Friday, showcased the work of FreshStart and residents' achievements.

"It was quite controversial in the early days," said Barbara Smith, from the project. "But now, four years after we opened, there is a huge improvement."

She said that currently 86 per cent of residents are in education, training or employment. And since the beginning of 2012, more than 67 per cent have moved into independent living.

Managed by Chapter 1, FreshStart is a multi-agency project to support people identified as prolific offenders in the community.

Residents go to FreshStart when they have completed custodial sentences, or are part of the drug intervention programme.

All have a link to Cornwall and are committed to addressing their use of drugs and/or alcohol which has contributed to their crimes.

"It's not been an easy ride. The project was new. No one else had ever done it before, but we had experience of working with many people with similar needs," said Chapter 1's operations director, Rachel Sanders.

The open day was attended by St Austell mayor, John Keast, as well as police probation representatives and Chapter 1 chief executive, Geoff Hawkins.

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  • Kingdas  |  September 30 2012, 12:28AM

    I met a few people that frequent fresh start and had to laugh at the comment stating everyone there is committed to addressing there use of drugs haha could not be further from the truth from what I have seen

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  • THWOGGLE  |  September 29 2012, 6:32PM

    In an austere Britain we can't afford yet another scheme (that doesn't work) for the underclass. We should be ploughing money into schemes to help law-abiding unfortunates, not these dropouts. Introspection is the key. Get these "offenders" to take a good look at themselves and pull themselves up by their own bootstraps or just get out of our lives.

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