The challenge we face today is as big as ever...
Unemployment is still a massive problem for people leaving prison, high rates of reoffending, substance misuse and insecure housing mean there is ever increasing demand for our services from the most vulnerable and isolated individuals.
Last year we worked with more individuals, we delivered over 6500 face to face sessions and conducted over 13,000 telephone mentoring sessions.
The improvement of health and wellbeing (both physical and mental) is right at the heart of everything AIR do. In every way, physical activity gets us out of the door and connecting with others, avoiding social isolation, increasing social capital and community spirit, something we at AIR believe is a fundamental part of the journey for all our programme participants.
An active population can reduce levels of crime and antisocial behaviour, there is also a clear contribution to the wider public health agenda as being active can help to prevent and manage over 20 chronic conditions and diseases.
Our experience has shown that the one-to-one support provided by coach mentors can be one of the most effective ways to promote integration, rebuild trust in the system and improve an individual’ mental and emotional health.
A key element of the AIR Network mentoring approach is to deliver support at the times it’s really needed. Being available at times when service users most need it promotes trust, strong relationships and reliability.
Our wrap around mentoring service provides out of hours evening and weekend contact with staff, support for crisis, weekly motivational texts and emails, face to face mentoring, telephone mentoring, WhatsApp and Zoom platforms and move on after care.
Sports and fitness activity has always been at the very centre of AIR Network’s community based delivery, we use physical activity to not only support physical and mental wellbeing but also to tackle wider psychosocial issues, isolation, offending and addiction.
We are able to deliver a wide range of fitness and sport sessions, including; football, gym sessions, boxercise, circuit training, keep fit, female only, outdoor fitness and weight training.
AIR Network delivers an extensive Employment, Training and Education (ETE) Programme for those individuals who identify ETE as a goal. This is delivered in partnership and with the support of our extensive London wide supply chain network.
All service users complete a Personal Support Plan which sets out their goals and aims for their time with AIR Network. When this includes ETE our mentors will provide a range of employability support including CV building, interview skills, job applications and physical preparation for interviews including dress to impress support.
Where individuals require additional support or have identified a specific employment area, our mentors will support them to engage with and sustain with a wide range of ETE providers and training organisations.
AIR Network’s Supply Chain Network consists of a wide range of pan London and National providers, this network allows our mentors to quickly match individuals to high quality opportunities within organisations with whom we have a successful and standing partnership.
AIR Network’s approach to reducing reoffending is to tackle the underlying issues that can contribute to an individual offending. Removing the practical blockages is the first step in that process, this both provides the individual with quick achievements but also helps to build the relationship between our coach mentors and the individual.
We work with prisons, the National Probation Service, Local Authorities and the third sector in a collaborative approach to provide coordinated activities, interventions and support that aims to reduce reoffending and long term change within the individual.
This process often starts before individuals leave prison, our coach mentors work on the prison wings, engaging in mentoring, fitness and sports sessions and helping to plan the support for when an individual is released. This is where we start to build the trusting relationships that we will carry into the Community programme.
AIR Network delivers a full through the gate and beyond programme which includes meeting individuals on the day of release, this meeting is crucial in helping to address issues such as homelessness, anxiety and isolation which often occur on release.
At this stage our Community programme will begin the process of developing an individual support plan, tackling the immediate practical blockages and the intensive longer term mentoring to change behaviours, attitudes, relationships and ultimately lives.
We use a recovery based approach to support people to make informed decisions regarding substance and alcohol use. Our focus is on developing recovery capital and in encouraging each individual to understand the health and wellbeing effects on them from continued substance and alcohol misuse.
We work on building resilience, self-confidence, relationships, learning to be successful and improving health, all of which we believe help individuals develop the coping and life skills to maintain recovery and reduce the risk of relapse.
We work with a range of treatment providers to provide support to individuals already in treatment and work in the community delivering engagement and support programmes to individuals who are treatment naive.
Our goal is to help individuals understand and take control of their substance misuse. Whilst abstinence is the ideal goal we recognise that each individual will be on their own personal journey to recovery. Therefore, our services are individually tailored to work with each individual at the level and stage they are at.