The Problem


average number of convictions a prisoner in England has.


of prisoners say they have no qualifications at all.


of prisoners have never had a job.


of people sentenced to less than one year in prison re-offend within a year.

People caught up in the criminal justice system almost always faced disadvantages long before they reach prison. Having a decent job, secure accommodation, and a support network, significantly improves the likelihood of moving beyond offending and on to a better life.

What we are doing about it

We aim to break the cycle of reoffending by:

  • Providing support and mentoring leading to employment
  • Sourcing training and the opportunity to gain qualifications
  • Re-building confidence
  • Facilitating work experience
  • Encouraging social inclusion
  • Becoming a contributor to society rather than a dependent

Since 2012 the Oswin Project has supported ex-offenders in the Northeast of England, giving them a second chance by sourcing paid employment, volunteering opportunities, training and work experience.

How we work

We work closely with HM prisons, employers, and partners to maximise everyone’s potential. Most of our clients (known as Oswinners) reintegrate into communities around the Northeast. We do not follow a prescribed pathway but adopt a flexible approach in using activities and educational programmes to tailor our plans to the circumstances and needs of the individual. We facilitate employment and training, not as a short-term fix, but as a vehicle for independence and personal growth.

We offer support for employers who have previously not worked with ex-offenders. Our database of those willing to employ ex-offenders is steadily growing. Alongside a network of partner organisations, we work closely with HMP Northumberland and their resettlement team, Job Centre plus, Novus (who supply education in HMP Northumberland and other prisons) and the New Futures network to develop new opportunities. 

We work with ‘Oswinners’ prior to and post-release helping them to turn away from crime. In doing so we place a wedge in the revolving door of re-offending.  Mentoring is offered, goals are discussed and set, plans made, and encouragement is given. A route into employment is found, lives are rebuilt and transformed.

Our Partners

A Huge Thank You to Our Generous Funders and Supporters

The AB Charitable Trust

The Badur Foundation

The National Lottery

The Christopher Rowbotham Charitable Trust

The 1772 Charity

Finn Family Fund

The Finnis Scott Foundation

The Garfield Weston Trust 

Greggs Foundation

The Hadrian Trust

High Sherriff of Northumberland

Hospital of God

The Joicey Trust

The Kerry Community First Endowment Fund*

The Hokey Cokey Fund*

The L G Harris Trust

The Lloyds Bank Foundation for England & Wales

Newcastle Building Society*

North Steads & Sisters Wind Farm Community Fund*

Pattinson Estate Agents*

The Rothley Trust

RW Mann Trust

The Sir James Knott Trust

The Society of the Holy Child Jesus

Star Fund*

The Ashcroft Charitable Trust 

The Barbour Foundation

The Souter Charitable Trust

The Worshipful Company of Grocers

The Tudor Trust

Warburtons Community Grants

The Watkin Family*

The Welch Family Fund*

*at the Community Foundation, Tyne and Wear Northumberland. 

The many individuals who have made significant donations but wish to remain anonymous, the regular givers, the fund raisers’ and our volunteers who generously donate their time and enthusiasm.