Participants praised as Onside programme reaches a successful conclusion

Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s Onside programme is making a difference by continuing to tackle the issue of re-offending in the city, with the latest block of delivery at HMP YOI Wetherby coming to a successful end this week.

Onside, which a 10-week programme run by Leeds Rhinos Foundation as part of the charity’s ‘Reducing Re-offending’ initiative, combines classroom-based work with physical activity sessions aimed at helping the offenders to make lasting positive changes to their lives and find work upon their release.

Following the initial success of the programme being delivered at HMP Wealstun and HMP Leeds in Armley, Onside has now also been successfully introduced to HMP YOI Wetherby, where more than 35 young offenders have successfully completed the scheme.

Participants attending Onside are generally young offenders who have less than six months to serve on their sentence and have shown a desire to make changes in their lives, and Projects Tutor Janet Sylvester has praised the latest cohort for their excellent work throughout the 10-week course.

“All the lads we’ve worked with on this course have engaged really well over the past ten weeks, both with the classroom work and in the gym during their physical activities,” said Sylvester.

“Collectively, our delivery has promoted positive personal development and demonstrated how skills can be transferred from the classroom into the gym and also into their everyday lives upon release. Whether its communication, teamwork, problem solving or other key life skills, these will be crucial in helping the lads to make positive choices and a better life for themselves on the outside upon release.

“It’s great that we can use the power of sport and the Rhinos brand as a vehicle for inspiration and personal development, and we’re delighted to work alongside the PEI staff at HMP YOI Wetherby to deliver this groundbreaking project.”

For more information about our Onside programme, please contact