Ex-offender helps people with criminal records from St Albans find work

Tony Franklin. Picture: Tony Franklin

Tony Franklin. Picture: Tony Franklin - Credit: Archant

A former offender is taking part in a charity project to help rehabilitate people from St Albans with criminal records.

Father-of-two Tony Franklin, 36, has been working with St Albans-based charity HACRO (Herts Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders) which provides ex-offenders with family and employment support.

The project aims to support offenders on the path back to employment, helping them gain work experience and confidence to prepare them for either the workplace or skills training opportunities.

Tony, who is from Hemel Hempstead, had no formal training or qualifications and, with the support of HACRO, turned to employment and skills specialist Seetec to help him develop his management skills and obtain a leadership and management qualification.

He said: “It was probably the hardest thing I’ve had to do for a long time. I left school without any qualifications and I’ve never written an essay before.

“I’m dyslexic so it was a struggle, and I had to find the time to do the work by getting up early or at weekends. It was definitely a good experience - I’ve learnt a lot from it and it’s given me the confidence to do more courses.

“I had a lot of support from Tom at Seetec. I learnt about motivating people, which is important as some of those I work with have never worked before, and also about different learning styles.”

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As project manager, Tony now manages volunteer groups of ex-offenders as they complete community-based projects across Hertfordshire.

HACRO trustee Peter Sweetman said: “By the end of the Seetec course, Tony was displaying both a sharper focus on the critical success factors in his area of responsibility, and improvements in the way he communicated his plans and priorities.

“Accordingly we presented to our board and to those funding Tony’s work a proposal to upgrade his post and I am glad to report that it was accepted immediately.”

Seetec provided Tony’s training for free as part of the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Skills For Growth scheme, which is financed by the European Social Fund.

Tony was also praised by Seetec for his perseverance in completing and passing all his assignments.