Onside project was launched in 2016 in HMP Leeds. The success of the pilot saw it expanded to HMP Wealstun and to HMP Wetherby Young Offenders Institute.

Since launching Onside has seen hundreds of inmates, who are all serving the final six months of their prison sentences, successfully complete the 10-week course.

Using the power of sport, the project combines classroom learning and physical activity sessions with a focus on confidence building, personal development and acquiring the skills and knowledge to successfully re-integrate back into society and find employment upon release.

The 10-week delivery covers a range of personal development areas addressing anger triggers, living healthy, behavior and consequences, building confidence and self-esteem as well as covering practical areas to aid in the pursuit of employment after release such as CV building, team work and communication and interview practice.

As a shining example of sport’s ability to have a positive impact on individuals lives, the project has recently received recognition in the review of sport in the custodial setting commissioned by Dr Phillip Lee MP on behalf of the Ministry of Justice, highlighting the project’s benefit to individuals and society at large.

Through links between the prisons and with West Yorkshire Police, the programme has been tailored to give inmates the chance to see the project through to its completion and provide support outside of custody.

For more information on Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Onside programme, please contact  Janet.Sylvester@leedsrhinosfoundation.org.

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