RISE Programme Facilitator shares how she makes a positive change to lives
Ann Takel is a programme facilitator for the Building Better Relationships (BBR) programme and other offender rehabilitation programmes at RISE. Ann has worked in London Probation since 2003 so she has a strong understanding of the complex needs of service users. She talks to us about how she helps to change the behaviour and attitudes of individuals who have committed crimes, here are the questions we asked Ann:
How do the programmes at RISE help individuals to make a change?
“Our interventions last for a small part of a person’s life but during this time it is all about helping them to have healthier, more peaceful relationships. The aim of the offender rehabilitation programmes is to reduce the risk of reoffending, but essentially it must be to get men or women who have committed offences to feel confident enough and motivated to make the positive changes to their lives. It is a privilege to be able to play a part in this journey.”
How do service users respond to the programmes?
“Here are some of the comments from men that have just finished the BBR programme, which is a programme to address the behaviour of men who have been violent or abusive towards their partners. “Staff are helpful, knowledgeable and supportive. There is no blame or prejudging and all service users are treated with respect and positivity.
“I learnt that I am not as bad a person as I thought I was.”
“I became open to considering other options.”
These comments encapsulate some of the main benefits of the programmes delivered by RISE.
As Facilitators we build relationships between ourselves and service users, we aim to create a safe and comfortable environment where there can be trust between all present. This can enable questioning, reflection, growth and change. A group environment such as the ones in the programmes I run, are really rewarding because you see groups bond and people learning to share and to trust each other.”
What works well in the programmes?
“A good programme such as BBR presents an opportunity for men to look at themselves and their behaviour, how they feel about where they are now and hopefully to present a picture of a realistic, achievable, more fulfilling, non-offending future that they might choose to move toward. In my experience offence-specific programmes such as Resolve, Drink Impaired Drivers, and BBR are relevant to service users because they are able to apply new skills to different aspects of their lives.
Overall we do well being responsive to the needs of service users by offering programmes at varying times and locations and using a variety of activities to suit different learning styles. More practical ‘get up and do’ activities seem to be preferred and group members seem to enjoy being competitive when presenting work or participating in any kind of quiz.”