Growing opportunities …
The Horticulture Industry Scheme CIC – THIS – is a social enterprise, working in Thetford with those who have had contact with the judicial system. We grow top quality salad leaves, interesting vegetables and delicate edible flowers and we harvest honey from our beehives. We sell our produce to local high quality restaurants whose chefs and customers appreciate the freshness and mouth watering flavours.
THIS is dedicated to giving former offenders training and employment opportunities. We offer support to our participants in all the areas that could affect their ability to maintain a job. This might include housing advice, training, education in literacy and numeracy, substance misuse, financial difficulties and family relationships, referring to other organisations if needed.
THIS improves individuals’ opportunities to work, contributes to community and demonstrates to the workforce, their families and society that past mistakes do not have to seal future failures. Our vision is that ex-offenders will participate and contribute fully in society.
Horticulture has long been associated with personal growth and well being. It is our belief that growth is a steady process: the satisfaction of sowing, nurturing and harvesting produce which then tastes spectacular is immeasurable. There is also the reward of growing something wholesome that other people want to buy.
“Thanks to the opportunity I have received, I am aware that I am able to return to work”.
“I have enjoyed everything about THIS. I was in a dark place previously but working with THIS has brought me out of my shell and motivated me. I enjoy working and it’s nice to feel part of a team”.
Some facts and figures
97% of prisoners said they wanted to stop offending. When asked what would be important in stopping them, most said a job (68%) and a place to live (60%) (Ministry of Justice 2010 Compendium of Reoffending Statistics).
“Ex-offenders who have a job are between 30% and 50% less likely to reoffend. If there is in-work support and encouragement, these figures can be improved further” (Kevin Maton, Ministry of Justice, June 2012).
Only 12% of employers surveyed said that they had employed somebody with a criminal record in the past three years (The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2010).
THIS is funded by the European Social Fund.
Limited by Guarantee, registered in England & Wales; Company Number 9626518; registered office 74 Chelmsford Road, London, E18 2PP