How do small budgets work in criminal justice?

At the Moving Forward learning event, we talked about the pilot project we are working on. It’s about offering small flexible budgets for individuals to help them achieve their goals and make a difference in their lives.

We have been testing out how this might work and have recruited some volunteers to help us. We are working with people and support workers from criminal justice organisation in Glasgow.

The volunteers start by participating in a workshop session to help identify what they want to do and how a small budget would help them.

The workshops are facilitated by Pat Black and Mark Traynor of Diversity Matters who talked about how they approach the sessions:

“People are anxious when they arrive. We try to build up trust by being open honest and straightforward.  These are qualities we all respect.

Our approach is about talking and asking questions and getting people to identify what is important to them and what they would like to do.

We talk about what we are passionate about.  What a good life looks like and the things that are important to us.   We all share our thoughts and ideas – we all take part.”

Having a small budget is about moving things on for people.  It can be a catalyst for change and can enhance relationships, enable individuals to share their interests and activities and it can lead to new conversations with different people.

There are conditions attached to the budget – the things you would expect like – the money can’t be used for anything illegal, to make a profit and does not constitute a benefit or welfare payment. It needs to be used to help people do things that are important to them and to help them achieve their goals.

So far volunteers have used the budget for various things including sports equipment, household items and things to help with work like theory driving test, forklift truck licence and passports.

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