Upon being referred to Only Connect, each potential new Member has a 1:1 session with one of our case workers. During this session - commonly known as a Strengths & Needs Assessment (SANs) - the Member and Support worker complete a Justice Star.
The Justice Star looks at ten outcomes for people in the criminal justice system, ranking each outcome from 1-10 (1 being stuck, 10 being self reliant). The outcomes are based on the resettlement pathways, and consist of: accomodation; living skills & self care; mental health & well-being; friends & community; relationships & family; parenting & care; drugs & alcohol; positive use of time; managing strong feelings; a crime-free life.
Progress against these areas is measured throughout a Member’s time with Only Connect.
Between September 2017 and September 2018, 200 new Members joined Only Connect. 35 attended our On Point course, 38 the Music Project and 24 engaged with our Nutrition and Healthy lifestyle project.
92 Members (46%) progressed onto Education, Training, and Employment.
DJ first came in contact with Only Connect through a referral from his probation officer. At the time he was trying to figure out how to get his juice business off the ground and said that ‘nothing was going right’. His first interactions with Only Connect mainly consisted of conversations with his caseworker and this enabled him to put his ideas on to paper which is something that he had previously struggled with.
Through Only Connect he was able to acquire both a CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card and a Street Trading License. His caseworker also assisted in registering his business and setting up a business bank account. He has since successfully completed the Launch22 incubator programme, where he developed entrepreneurial skills and accelerated the growth of his business.
In his opinion one of the best things about Only Connect is their connections, stating that ‘the name plays the game and without Only Connect I would not have the connections.’
His business is now thriving, he is pleased that he is able to make people happy with his juices and to know that he is helping people is incredibly rewarding for him. He is grateful for Only Connect and feels that without OC’s support he would not be where he is now.