One of our service users had served a 24-month sentence at HMP Winchester and was recalled to prison after failing to cope with his emotional and past issues in the community. He was using drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. He moved into the Gosport IOM (Integrated Offender Management) House on July 19th, after being released from prison.
When he was referred to the IOM Housing, we realised that he needed a plan of activities to keep him busy and engaged. Since there were not many activities in Gosport, we arranged for him to travel to Southampton with travel warrants. He could participate in Re-fit Southampton and Southampton IOM House activities there. He was very eager to join these activities and contacted the IOM Activity Coordinator regularly. He also made use of the support services in Gosport. However, he had some incidents at the IOM House that resulted in a warning.
We then told him about the Sea Fishing Trip that was planned. He was very excited about it, as he had enjoyed fishing as a teenager. Having this activity to look forward to helped him avoid negative behaviour and influences at the house.
He contacted the IOM Activity Coordinator every day before the trip, offering his help. He also made sure he arrived on time for the trip, by cycling and taking a train to Southampton. He was very enthusiastic and positive on the trip. He helped the Captain steer the boat, changed the bait and equipment, and interacted with the other residents. He also sought advice from them on how to make the most of his time at the house.
The trip was a great success, thanks to the Activities Funding from Probation. It created a positive and upbeat atmosphere among the IOM residents and staff. We plan to do it again soon.