FreshStart is changing lives one by one

18 JAN 2016

FreshStart runs Recovery Course


What an exciting start for 2016, FreshStart are the first complex needs commissioned service in Cornwall to run an in-house Intuitive Recovery Course and not only have we done it we managed a 100% completion record for those that commenced the course.

It wasn’t without its challenges as there was some real resistance from residents initially, but the FreshStart staff team working in partnership with our allocated Criminal Justice Worker from Addaction and the Intuitive Recovery facilitator – and most importantly our residents managed to make the course a success.

Gabrielle Regional Manager for Intuitive Recovery stated “it’s an excellent outcome for a notoriously difficult to engage client group”.

We at FreshStart  are extremely pleased by the outcome and will be working with Intuitive Recovery and Addaction to run further courses throughout the year, one of these we hope will focus on employability again in partnership with Intuitive Recovery. We have received recognition from one of our commissioners who on the back of the positive feedback received we will be feeding into the employment pathways on the new reducing reoffending strategy for Cornwall.

Intuitive Recovery is an accredited educational programme that promotes abstinence as achievable, and easy to maintain. It provides skills and tools to recognise and control addictive desires and to take responsibility for choices and behaviours.

The organisation covers various parts of the UK so for any of you who may wish to know more about Intuitive Recovery here is the link:


FreshStart StAustell

Questions and Answers


What is FreshStart St Austell?

A Chapter 1 project to provide high levels of support within the community to offenders when they are released from prison and return to Cornwall. It takes a multi-agency approach working collaboratively with Police, Probation and Health Services, Homes & Communities Agency (HCA), and Cornwall Council and the support costs are funded by Supporting People.


Who are the FreshStart residents?

FreshStart is a facility for individuals who have been identified as prolific offenders and have completed custodial sentences, or they are part of the Drug Intervention Programme. They all have a history of drug and/or alcohol abuse which has contributed to their crimes – eg burglary to fund a habit.


Where do the residents come from, and how are they selected? 

They have all been living in Cornwallprior to being arrested. Potential residents are considered very carefully to assess their suitability. They are assessed first by the Police and Probation. Those recommended for FreshStart, undergo a further personal risk assessment to ensure that they do not pose a risk to themselves, other residents, the staff, or the public at large.


Why can’t they return to the homes they had before they went to prison?

Around a quarter would have had no permanent home on conviction, so there is nowhere to return to when they are released. In addition, around 30% of prisoners lose their housing while they are inside, and many come from families who are experiencing difficulties themselves and are unable to provide them with an appropriate home.


What is the maximum number of residents at any one time, and how long do they stay?

The main house can accommodate ten individual rooms, with a communal kitchen, laundry and lounge, and training rooms for in-house activities.

The adjoining move-on unit consists of eight individual bedsits for residents from the main house who are ready to live a bit more independently. They can stay in Phase 2 can stay for as long as they need the support, up to a maximum of 24 months.


What do the residents do all day?

Every resident has a structured activity programme which they agree with their support worker in order to prepare them for living independently in the community and seeking work. The programmes are tailored to meet individual needs. We work with a range of agencies and providers to offer a wide range of opportunities. At present we are able to offer a  number of courses and activities which are held on site. These include literacy and numeracy, carpentry, arts, gardening, cookery and healthy eating, sports, budgeting, and employability skills. Some residents attend college or other external training, or volunteer in the local community. We are also developing  social activities, in order to give something back to the community - for example we are currently involved in a community gardening project in the local area, and have further activities in the pipeline.


Are they free to come and go?

In most cases yes. They have completed their custodial sentences when they arrive, but some are subject to Probation supervision, and may have individual curfews. Every resident has to sign a personal and confidential tenancy agreement which sets out clear expectations regarding behaviour and being good neighbours, and they know that any breach of their house rules will have consequences.


What is Chapter 1? 
Chapter 1 provides accommodation and related support services to help vulnerable people enjoy a more fulfilled life.  It is a charity, based on Christian principles, which offers human compassion and practical support to meet people’s needs respecting their faith, culture and social background.  Currently Chapter 1 works in partnership with over 40 local and administrative authorities and has a growing network of some 50 projects across England. 


Who do I speak to if I want to know more?

For information about FreshStart St Austell: Vicki Hamilton-  01726 71811

24 Truro Road, St Austell PL25 5JF

For general enquiries about Chapter 1– Gina Grenville: 0207 593 0471