Thoughts, stories and events to share

Inside Connections

Sophie O'Sullivan, about 5 years ago

Aftercare is the main priority in my business. We support vulnerable people, reintegrate them into society and give them a better future.

-John Burton, founder of Inside Connections Limited and Inside Connections Support CIC

Inside Connections is a groundbreaking digital platform and one stop contact point for family members of prisoners and the wider community. John Burton, founder of Inside Connections (IC), designed this App alongside a fully incorporated Community Interest Company (CIC) and Trust Fund. IC specialises in through the gate aftercare and offers vital support services for vulnerable people exiting prison, care home or military systems and young offenders. It aims to prevent offending and reoffending, with a close focus on training and finding work.

John Burton designed the mobile App for iOS and Android on paper during the last 14 months of his sentence. The Prison Hub feature provides information about what happens inside the prison system from work and education available to prison visiting hours and a breakdown of ROTL forms. The App is built around a journal, which is created for the families of prisoners to record the emotional journey of being a passenger in prison life. In an increasingly digital age, it is a wonderful portal that can be used to share personal videos and blogs with the family unit and the community alike. You can also send personalised greeting cards and the App has an impressive directory of well-respected solicitors.

The App is in its early stages and will be completed in June/ July. The next development is equipped with money-saving deals and vouchers that will help families save on everything from the weekly shop to hotels and travel. IC also plans to roll out a completed CV system and job board with employment opportunities dotted around the country.

A big part of IC's forward-thinking ambition involves relocation. IC have worked with gang members from different areas and have recognised the common problem that many ex-offenders face on the outside: slipping into old habits after moving back to the same environment. They aim to combat this by helping ex-offenders find employment in other areas in order to start afresh. The App will facilitate this positive strive toward sustainable reform and rehabilitation on a global scale. IC donate a percentage of their revenues to help their charitable reform campaigns.

Inside Connections supports all and gives vulnerable people a chance to build a better future and transform their lives. Everyone deserves a second chance at life.

-John Burton, founder of Inside Connections Limited and Inside Connections Support CIC

The aftercare that IC offers is inclusive of employment and long-term housing aid. As an ex-offender, John has first-hand experience of the UK prison system and how incredibly challenging it is to walk into a job straight from prison. He is dedicated to helping people from disadvantaged backgrounds and has a strong commitment to rehabilitation. He has actively invested this passion into IC. When prisoners arrive, the IC go above and beyond to provide basic necessities like a mobile phone, new bedding, toiletries, doctor or dentist appointment, opticians, identification, peer support, yoga and mindfulness sessions and most importantly a bank account, which is all needed to start the ball rolling to gain employment.

45% of 16-18-year olds released from the care home system immediately go on to commit crimes and end up in prison. The IC especially wants to work with these vulnerable young people to give them a second chance and empower them with a brighter future. IC also works with prisoners on ROTL, prisoners leaving the system, ex-prisoners who are finding it hard to find work, ex-military and homeless. For John, 'prevention is better than the cure.'

The company has its own accredited training academy in Liverpool offering a wide range of courses in English, Maths, Employability, Business Studies, Health and Social Care, Catering and Construction. IC have also just opened their first HMO in Blackburn which provides supported living for ex-offenders leaving prison or care and has attached to it programmes to help them engage in courses directly linked to live employment opportunities and labour-market skills shortages.

IC hosted a vibrant seminar in Liverpool on Monday, which brought together many outward-looking organisations, promoting the training courses they provide and their overall collective mission to support vulnerable individuals. The seminar highlighted the work that Inside Connections has already done and what it will be doing in the future. A number of people spoke about the amazing on-going support that they have received from Inside Connections and John spoke about his own journey from prison to founding the organisation.

The primary objective of the IC is supporting individuals whilst putting families and communities at the heart their rehabilitative work and delivering outstanding supported care programmes, housing, education, training and job opportunities.

Everything we do is about giving back and we work with people who actively want to get back into work.

-John Burton, founder of Inside Connections Limited and Inside Connections Support CIC

If you are interested in getting involved and think that your business could benefit from hiring EXceptional candidates, please contact Inside Connections through our directory. You can download the App here and follow Inside Connections socials for updates on their revolutionary work: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.