All the BTEG - Black Training and Enterprise Group - Issue 34
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In this issue:

Issue 34

Jeremy Crook OBE writes:

Jeremy Crook

We have had a very rewarding time at BTEG in recent weeks.

I valued my visit to HMP Feltham – a Young Offender’s Institution near Heathrow airport - following an invitation from one of the Imams that works with the chaplaincy there. BTEG is deeply concerned about the high number of young black and Muslim men in Feltham (over 60%) and in youth custody nationally (43%). We continue to meet with the Youth Justice Board to support their efforts to reduce this over-representation.

The Young Review - which aims to improve outcomes for young black and/or Muslin men in the Criminal Justice System - has entered Phase 2. An emphasis for this phase will be to change the narrative and to get senior politicians to discuss Young Review proposals.  I am pleased that the Barrow Cadbury Trust continues to support this work and that Baroness Young will continue to play a key role by chairing the Independent Advisory Group and by meeting with Ministers and senior officials to make sure that The Young Review recommendations are implemented. Download the Young Review

On 22 June RBS kindly hosted the launch of the Moving on Up (MoU) programme. Moving on Up is a new £1m employment initiative which aims to help young black men who are actively seeking work get jobs in the capital. MoU is partnership between Trust for London, City Bridge Trust and BTEG. The project is supported by the new London Advisory Group chaired by Bola Abisogun, CEO of Urbanis Ltd, which will help to ensure the programme has a positive impact .Find out more about Moving on Up

The state and communities have to be better at supporting young people in care so they don’t end up in the criminal justice system. BTEG is a member of the Prison Reform Trust Care Review chaired by Lord Laming. It is hoped that the review will lead to improved outcomes for young people leaving care.

Capital Volunteers, our new volunteer programme for young people aged 18-30, has started. We want to hear from young people interested in volunteering and from organisations from all sectors that can offer quality placements. (see below or click here)

Finally, I like to thank our Routes2Success black male volunteers. They do a fantastic job inspiring young black males up and down the country in schools, colleges, community groups and prisons. We receive great feedback from young black males and the organisations that host events. We were delighted when staff at HMP Thameside, a Serco run prison, recently presented BTEG with a £500 cheque in recognition of our R2S work in their prison. It is great to be recognised in this way. If you want to support our valuable work with young people please do donate

News and Updates


Capital Volunteers

Capital logo

Young People – work vs development

Many young people would like to improve their prospects, follow a career path of their choice and get more satisfaction from their work life.

There are ways to help them pursue this through training, apprenticeships and education. The problem for some young people, though, is how do they do this whilst at the same time supporting themselves? Young people who are in employment are often in jobs that are not that secure or pay that well or linked to their long term aspirations. Asking for time off to take part in personal development training might not be an option if they want to a) keep their job and/or b) ensure they have enough money to meet their needs.

How can we help them?

Capital Volunteers is a new project, funded by City Bridge, that  will enable  BAME young people (aged 18-30)  to be better equipped to volunteer and to maximise the opportunity presented to them in their placement through supporting them with their personal development and help them to develop core competencies for any work environment.

As well as development workshops the project will, crucially, provide 1-2-1 support. This will help young people to arrange their development programme to fit in with their time needs – we can come to them when they are available.

Ultimately the project will find volunteering opportunities for young people in the areas in which they are interested thereby giving them a head start in moving towards their goals.

To find out more about the opportunities Capital Volunteering offers visit our Capital Voulunteers page or contact Tebussum Rashid, Head of Volunteering & Innovation at BTEG, email

Why your organisation needs volunteers

Capital Volunteers is a new project, funded by City Bridge, that  will enable  BAME young people (aged 18-30)  to be better equipped to volunteer and to maximise the opportunity presented to them in their placement.

To do this we need organisations that are willing to host placements for three to six months.

If you are not sure about taking on a volunteer here are some benefits placements from Capital Volunteers can have for your organisation:

  • Bringing a new energy, new skills and new ideas  to your work
  • Getting help with a specific project or the more general running of your organisation
  • Connecting with diverse communities in the UK
  • Helping with your corporate responsibility goals
  • Helping you find potential talent for future employment
  • Enabling you to offer services that wouldn’t otherwise be provided

If you think you can take on a placement or to explore how your organisation can benefit from a volunteer please contact Tebussum Rashid



R2S logo

R2S visits HMP Wayland

The R2S team had such an eventful session at HMP Wayland, it gave us an opportunity to listen to the prisoners’ hopes and fears of being released and left us feeling inspired.

When we received the email that the prisoners at HMP Wayland wanted the R2S role models back to deliver another workshop, both staff and R2S role models were excited and keen to go back. This would be our third session at HMP Wayland, where we did our first prison session as a team.

On 12th March 2015 the R2S team - along with R2S role models DD Armstrong and Tony Henry - delivered a workshop on overcoming obstacles and entrepreneurship to a group of 19 young black male prisoners. We all prepared ourselves for what would be a long journey to HMP Wayland in Norfolk, but we knew that the end result would be more than worth it.

When we arrived in the chapel for the session it was great to see that the Equalities and Diversity staff at HMP Wayland had done their utmost to ensure that our target group were black males between the ages of 18-25. Not doing this has been an issue at other prisons. It was also lovely to be greeted by familiar faces who were keen to be at the session and happy to see us again!

Why do we enjoy working with the same organisations? Because we can see the difference that we make each time we visit.


“This event was very helpful and has made me see things like how I can change my life around even though I have been to prison”

 Prisoner at HMP Wayland


Our first visit to HMP Wayland was in October 2013. The prisoners then were defensive and less engaging. They almost used the R2S session as an opportunity to discuss how oppressed they felt in the prison.  The second and third time that we have been to the prison it has been such a difference. It is almost like the sessions give them hope upon release. Although there are clear issues expressed by staff and prisoners about the lack of understanding of the needs of the black prisoners, the prisoners are able to leave the sessions with aspirations.


Routes2Success delivered a positive and upbeat presentation thanks to their role models. Our young men were engaging and opened up their thoughts and feelings about what their future holds outside of prison.”

Safer Custody and Equalities Officer at HMP Wayland


Many of the prisoners are from London and are not happy about being so far away from home and, because it is so expensive for their friends and family to travel to visit them, they feel even more isolated.

The R2S sessions give them an opportunity to discuss their issues, hopes and fears with other black men who understand where they are coming from. As well as giving them hope, the sessions give the prisoners an opportunity to look at issues they may face upon release.

The session ended on a high, with the prisoners sitting at piano and rapping lyrics to a song they had written collaboratively. This is an image the media would never portray, but was one of unity and positivity between prisoners.

BTEG Criminal Justice Network News

Why is the MoJ so scared of allowing journalists into jails?

Prison gates

Getting into prisons has never been easy for journalists, but in recent years the MoJ has proved more and more reluctant to sanction media access. In Eric Allison’s article in the Guardian he asks why should we be barred from knowing what goes on in prisons?


The Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Rehabilitation 2015

For ten years Robin Corbett chaired the All Party Parliamentary Penal Affairs Group to which PRT, supported by the Barrow Cadbury Trust, provides the secretariat.

Following Lord Corbett's death in February 2012, the Prison Reform Trust (PRT) agreed with his family to establish a lasting and fitting memorial to his exceptional work in penal reform - the new Robin Corbett Award for Prisoner Rehabilitation. The award is for outstanding rehabilitative work with prisoners done by a small charity or community group.

Find out more about the award or download a nomination form here


Sharp rise in the proportion of young black and ethnic minority prisoners

Police arresting black men

A Guardian analysis of newly released government figures has revealed a shocking increase in the proportion of ethnic minority children and young people being held in the youth justice system.

Opening Doors Network

ODN logo


Opening Doors Network Pitching Competition

ODN lecture

Opening Doors Network (ODN) - BTEG’s enterprise programme delivered with partners ABi Associates, PJ’s Community Services and Tottenham Hotspur Foundation - will be holding an evening networking and pitching event at Lloyds Bank on 8 July.

The event will provide an opportunity for six ODN participants to pitch their business start-up ideas to a panel consisting of Start-Up Loans providers and entrepreneurs.

Each participant will have only a few minutes to convince the panel that they are most deserving of the prize worth over £500. There will also be prizes worth £100 each for two runners up. The panel will have an opportunity to quiz each participant and also to offer them advice.

It will be a fantastic opportunity for ODN participants to put into practice what they have been learning on the very hands-on and practical enterprise programme. It will also give them a chance to validate the robustness of their business plans – developed throughout the programme.

The event will provide an opportunity for ODN participants to network with others on the programme across London and also meet established entrepreneurs. Networking is a key part of the ODN programme, designed to increase the social capital of individuals.

Previous winners and runners up of ODN pitching events have gone on to secure financial investment from private backers and to test trade at Spurs matches at White Hart Lane.

Over 190 people have now started the Opening Doors Programme, with 150 successfully completing the programme. Over 30% have registered their new business and/or are trading.  20% have progressed to other outcomes include working full or part time.

For further information on the Opening Doors Network please contact Programme Director Indra Pooran or have a look at our website:

You can register for this event here


News From Around the Sector


Employment targets for ethnic minorities will not reduce racial inequalities

Whitehall street sign

We need better evidence, proper legislative scrutiny and public debate to make democracy and fairness a reality for Black and minority ethnic people argues Omar Khan, Director of the Runnymede Trust, as he assesses the prospects for ethnic minorities under the new Conservative Government in this article from the Manchester Policy Blog.


Paul Hamlyn Foundation opens new fund for those dealing with major social issues

phf logo

The new fund will support people who have an idea with unusual promise to improve the life chances and opportunities of individuals and communities in the UK. The Foundation can provide funding totalling up to £30,000 over up to 18 months to help you get started.  The fund will be open for applications in August. Find out more here



How to eliminate weak spots in a charitable business plan

Carolyn Sims, head of banking at Charity Bank, runs through six tips that will help your charity plan for the future in this blog from Civil Society



Ethnic minority representation in UK boardrooms falling

White men in board room

A new survey by Green Park show that in the FTSE 100 leadership this year, the position of minority leaders has declined. In 2014, 61 companies in the index had all White Main and boards; in 2015 the picture is marginally worse with 62 main boards showing no minority presence. You can download the full report here



How to write a charity marketing strategy

Pen on paper

A great marketing strategy will help your charity reach more people and generate more income. Without one, you could end up wasting a lot of money and time. CharityComms tells you everything you need to know about creating a strategy here



From school to work in London

Learning from Germany - education and employers working together

Pfyp logo

In March 2015 twenty practitioners and managers from the youth sector undertook an Erasmus Plus funded exchange to North Rhine Westfalia, Dusseldorf to look at effective collaboration across employers and education. German youth unemployment stands at less than 10%, and young people get clear and comprehensive Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) from schools and employers.

Two groups of 10 visited secondary schools, technical and commercial vocational colleges, employers and their federations, and youth support and training agencies to look at the transferable learning that could be adapted and used in London.

A report on the visit can be downloaded here



DWP Work Programme: how is it performing?

Centre for e&s inclusion logo

CESI considers how the work programme has performed and looks at lessons for the future. Read the full report here


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