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Scrap vehicles help drive new offender rehabilitation programme at East Midlands prison

Cars and parts destined for depollution and recycling have been donated to an East Midlands prison HMP Stocken, to help train and upskill offenders as part of a motor mechanic training programme.


Scrap vehicles help drive new offender rehabilitation programme at East Midlands prison p
Left – Barry Flanagan, Recycling Lives, and on the Right – Cheryl Hopkins People Plus

Recycling and waste management company Recycling Lives is providing bespoke vehicles and parts to help offenders gain hands-on experience and skills as part of the mechanic’s course run by education and welfare services provider PeoplePlus. The programme provides learning opportunities and helps bridge the gap to finding jobs within local communities following offenders’ release from custody – which in turn helps create a positive impact on society, a reduction in re-offending, and cost savings on health and employment services.

The national recycling firm has donated the cars for a 12-month period, after which they will be recycled and replaced in line with the training qualification requirements on an annual basis. This initial instalment of vehicles is the first of many in what is to be a long-term commitment to supporting the rehabilitation courses and forms part of Recycling Lives’ ongoing drive to delivering positive social impact.

Barry Flanagan, Recycling Lives Social Sustainability Manager, said:

“We believe in getting people into a sustainable circle of opportunity where a stable job can mean a life change, and it’s programmes like this at HMP Stocken that can really make a difference. The training is second to none, and we’re thrilled to be able to provide the necessary equipment to aid with student learning and skill development.

Recycling Lives is dedicated to providing meaningful social value, and to actively seek out as many opportunities as possible across the UK to support those in the justice system build better lives.”

The success of these initiatives is plain to see; national average re-offending rates sit at around 60%, whilst the Recycling Lives average re-offending rate is under 5%, demonstrating in no uncertain terms how important this work is.

Grown around a belief in social sustainability, the firm is committed to structuring business around its three ‘core’ pillars – Social Value, Environmental Innovation, and Commercial Aspiration – it is committed to what it describes as ‘good business’ – i.e., successful business based on giving back to society and the planet.

The continuing work with the UK justice system and collaboration with programme providers such as PeoplePlus are just some of the social initiatives supported by Recycling Lives. From working with prison academies, delivering work placement programmes for those on Release on Temporary Licence (ROTL), to providing employment within the business for those on full release; this latest collaboration is just another example of Recycling Lives’ commitment to supporting the justice system and helping to rehabilitate people for a self-sufficient path forward.

This commitment was recognised in December last year when Recycling Lives achieved B-Corp certification – an acknowledgement of the company’s commitment to delivering positive social impact, environmental innovation and influence to driving a sustainable circular economy.  And a sure nod to its progress in making operations more sustainable year on year.

Keeley Moore, Head of Reducing Reoffending at HMP Stocken, commented:

“The cars and parts Recycling Lives have donated are specified according to the needs of the programme and are vital in achieving the mechanical qualifications we run at HMP Stocken, contributing significantly to those on the course finding meaningful employment when they are released from custody. Employment and purpose on the outside is key to reducing reoffending, so these donated vehicles and the ongoing support from Recycling Lives are invaluable to helping us achieve that goal.”

Cheryl Hopkins, Vocational Training Manager at PeoplePlus, added:

“We are very proud to be working with HMP Stocken and Recycling Lives – collaborations such as this allow the students the best chances for future employment and a chance to support them on their path to true rehabilitation.

Recycling Lives shares our passion and commitment in getting people into a sustainable circle of opportunity, and we look forward to working together in the future to create opportunities for those who are dedicated to rebuilding their lives.”

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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

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