Ex-Cell links in to the Manchester Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership, the Manchester Community Safety Network and CN4M, the voluntary and community sector strand of the Manchester Partnership. Ex-Cell are also members of the Manchester Learning, Skills and Employment Network.
Ex-Cell operates as the employment and accomodation specialists of the Greater Manchester Community Chaplaincy. The Community Chaplaincy is based on the Chaplaincy model developed through the Correctional Service of Canada and originated by the Canadian Mennonite community’s response to the needs of ex prisoners and community concerns.Community
Chaplaincy consists of faith-based organisations that support offenders and their families as they re-enter society. These agencies usually include a chaplain and numerous volunteers who have received endorsement from their faith group. They serve out of a deep sense of vocation and conviction and offer a wide variety of assistance.
Ex-Cell works in partnership with a wide range of local, regional and national Criminal Justice and Third Sector agencies, including the Prison Service, Probation, Manchester City Council, Lifeline and Addaction.
“I find that the service they [Ex-Cell] provide to the clients is invaluable, with clients eager to gain a placement. I find that where clients are living in shared accommodation, i.e. hostels, this causes a domino effect whereby clients and staff within the hostel start referring others to the service as the change in clients attitudes and behaviour is quite often described as phenomenal. Clients who gain placements are looked on as role models amongst their peers, and their success gives others the incentive to want to change. The clients, who are successful in gaining placements, became more motivated, more confident, reliable and self assured. Those who complete their placements are able to go on to seek regular employment as they are able to provide recent work experience, proven track record, references, etc.
My personal experience and view of Ex-cell is that the client group I refer and work with are amongst the most difficult in society to gain paid employment for. The service provides an effective stepping stone for the clients to make that initial change and move on into sustainable employment. Some of my previous clients may never have worked, or been out of work and in and out of custody for a period of years leading up to their placement with Ex-cell. It is difficult to describe on paper the changes that come about from a client gaining paid employment and being able to hold a job down, where the client is a family “man” or “woman” it brought about very positive changes in their personal relationships with their children, partner, extended family and the wider community.
I work with many different agencies and organisations and various provisions are made for my client group, most of them short term. My clients really need and value the longer term provision that has been accessible via Ex-cell.”