Our Get Onside Programme is an 8-week course that runs in HMP Feltham Young Offenders Institute. We aim to provide the platform for development of skills like resilience, self-confidence, ambition and discipline to those currently serving prison sentences, affording the opportunity to offenders to participate in sport. Click here to find out more about the programme.

Following another year of the Get Onside Programme in HMP Feltham Young Offenders Institute, we have continued to achieve success in reducing reoffending rates. Since starting the programme we have seen just 15% of Get Onside graduates reoffend against a national average of as high as 69% within this age group.

The programme, which uses rugby to instil the values and life skills to face the challenges young offenders face on release from prison, has developed significantly over the year. At the end of the 8-weeks, the participants now face the challenge of playing against a senior rugby team. The most recent game was a physical affair and the Feltham team eventually lost a very tight game 24-27 in the baking heat – an amazing achievement considering the experience of some of the opposition players. UCS Rugby Club – the visiting side have since raised the possibility of creating a mentorship scheme for young men who are leaving the programme and looking to get involved with rugby whilst also gaining support in other areas of life.

We have also been very fortunate to incorporate The Saracens Way into the programme this year. Will Fraser (former Saracens player & Director of The Saracens Way) takes the core values, winning mentality and daily processes used by Saracens and works with businesses to apply them directly to their organisations. Will has come on board to also deliver the programme to our groups in Feltham and through these sessions has inspired a real sense of belief that the participants can take into their lives as they leave Feltham. A highlight of The Saracens Way’s involvement was when Will came in with his brother Henry Fraser to share his story of breaking his neck as a teenager and how he has since found a new positive outlook on his life.

The programme has grown significantly, and our success is not just in keeping our reoffending rates at 15% but also about the success and fulfilment that our participants can achieve on release – as we enter into our final year of funding we will be looking at how we can continue to increase the impact the programme is having. We will also be looking to secure funding moving forwards – hopefully bringing on board The Saracens Way and extending our mentoring provision. We are also going to explore how we can have a bigger impact and work with more prisons and more young people in custody.