The team from Ingeus’ Justice division hosted an event at Voluntary Action Leicester to celebrate the value of lived experience and the ongoing success of the Ingeus Academy for Peer Mentors. The event was held to acknowledge the excellent contribution made by Ingeus peer mentors, who all have lived experience of the criminal justice system.
Ben Humphris, Ingeus Service User Involvement Lead, opened the event, talking passionately about the Ingeus Academy and the commitment to harnessing the experiences, enthusiasm, and most of all, wisdom that lived experience employees and volunteers bring to the organisation and criminal justice sector.
There were over 50 guests who attended the event, with representation from His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS), Police, Public Health, and the Violence Reduction Network. The agenda consisted of several Ingeus staff talking bravely through their own personal journeys, including details of early years, personal tragedies, significant trauma, and the impact of decision making and accountability. The stories shared were both sad and poignant, but had powerful endings to inspire others.
Some spoke about how they had turned their lives around and were grateful to be working for an organisation that provides opportunity for them to use their own previous experiences to support others. They spoke about the Ingeus Academy and how it had helped several of them break a cycle that had been present in their own families for many years, and the sense of belonging they’ve found in their employment with Ingeus. One individual talked about how he had been able to transfer his skills from selling cars and mobile phones to now selling confidence, belief, and a positive future to the people on probation that he was supporting.
James Foreman Regional Manager for the Justice services in the East Midlands commented,
“The event was fantastic! It provided an insight into the amazing work that staff are undertaking, the impact it has on reducing reoffending and how crucial lived experience is to the delivery of our justice services. There were statements of feedback and videos from people on probation who had benefitted from the passion and support from the individuals we were hearing from and how important it was that people had support from someone they could relate to. The event left everyone feeling inspired”.
Ingeus will continue to develop their Academy and provide a route for our lived experience peer mentors and volunteers to keep progressing and gain experience in other areas of the business.