Stones and Garbutt back Safe Hands
Safe Hands is a five-year project, launched by Everton in the Community, that targets young offenders in the Merseyside area, aiming to help them integrate back into society after leaving secure care by offering them opportunities that they may never have considered as options before.
The project works with young offenders prior to release with an individual support package introduced to help prepare them for the outside world. Once released, the participants undertake an extensive programme of activities to help integrate them back into society and build positive relationships with their communities.
The project provides 20 hours or more per week of bespoke, themed workshops and accredited educated and training opportunities catering for participants’ individual needs and interests.
Since its launch in April 2012, the programme has achieved an 80 per cent non-reoffending rate among participants, compared to the national average of 27 per cent. The average persistent young offender costs the government £80,000 per year and £300,000 over their criminal career. The non-reoffending rate through Safe Hands would save the government £36million whilst creating economically active citizens.
John Stones and Luke Garbutt took part in extra training when they called into the Everton Active Centre at Goodison Park to join a circuit session with the latest group of participants on the Safe Hands programme.
The defensive duo spent time in the gym helping the participants on different stations on their exercise circuit as they worked on improving their fitness in preparation for the Liverpool Half Marathon to raise funds for the Club’s official charity.
At the end of the gym session, Stones and Garbutt sat down with the young men to find out more about their lives, how the charity has helped them and to offer their own fitness and nutrition advice.
After his time meeting the participants, Stones said: “I always enjoy getting out into the community and finding out more about the programmes that Everton in the Community deliver. The lads we met today are a similar age to Luke and I and so it’s been great for us both to find out more about them and how Safe Hands has helped them. I always take a lot away from visits like this and hopefully these guys feel the same.”
Anthony Harden, Safe Hands Support Worker, added: “It was a great boost for the lads to meet John and Luke and have them take part in our session with them. They seemed to have a real interest in the work we are doing with Safe Hands and have given the lads some good advice as they up their training for the Liverpool half marathon.”
Community support comes in many forms and during the last 12 months there have been many exceptional examples of personal and group determination to make a difference in this world.